Worker Says 'Scam' Job Refused to Pay Amount Listed on Ad: 'Gross'

A worker with over a decade of experience declined a job after the company wouldn't pay the $28 an hour advertised in the job listing.

The Reddit post recounting the situation, titled, "I applied for a job that paid $28 per hour, but they didn't want to pay me $28 per hour," has been upvoted 11,000 times since it was shared on March 16.

According to, eight cities and states have pay transparency laws in place. It all started with California's Equal Pay Act in 2017, and other cities and states followed along, including Washington, Maryland, Ohio cities Toledo and Cincinnati, Colorado, Nevada, Connecticut, and Rhode Island (in 2023).

California's law requires employers to give out salary ranges to job applicants when requested. They also prohibit an employer from requesting a job applicant's salary history.

Redditor @UBetcha84 shared their story in the subreddit "Antiwork," revealing that last week they saw a job listing that advertised pay at $28 an hour, so they applied.

"It was a quality role, which I have a decade of experience in," the original poster (OP) revealed.

The company ended up calling the OP back on Monday saying they were "interested" in the candidate. Things appeared to be going in the right direction until pay for the role was brought up.

"I said the ad said $28, so I want that," the Redditor recalled.

Upset man on phone
A worker said a job refused to pay the amount listed in the job advertisement in a viral Reddit post. Here, an upset man on the phone. PROSTOCK-STUDIO/GETTY

Things then took a turn, and the person the OP spoke to revealed the $28 an hour rate is with experience.

"I responded I have a decade experience," the Redditor said. "They asked what the lowest I would be willing to go was, which I said $25. They asked if I could go lower."

The OP "grew impatient," and the Redditor explained, "this wasn't going to work because if they didn't want to pay what the ad said, they shouldn't have offered it to begin with." The call ended not long after that.

Redditors had strong opinions about the situation with many in full support of the worker. Harsh criticism was also in abundance over the company's actions with theories on the false advertising as well.

"The goal is to get someone who is normally paid $28 and pay them $14," a Redditor reasoned. "It's people with backbones they don't want."

Some people thought the OP gave the company too much of their time. "You shot yourself in the foot even budging to these abusers," a user expressed. "You give them the finger, they want the whole hand."

While others thought the government needs to get involved. A Redditor said they need "to create a central location that scams like this can be reported to. It should be illegal to falsely advertise a wage."

However, some said it has to do with a possible scam regarding "payroll and recruitment fraud to get their PPP loans forgiven [i.e. Free money from the government.]"

Some companies could have fake job postings that qualify them for PPP loan forgiveness. The loans were taken out during COVID to keep people employed and working despite the situation, covering payroll for many companies, according to The Hill.

To keep from having to pay back the loan, employers would have to attempt to hire someone for an open position (if the original employee declines to come back). They can qualify for an exemption to pay back that portion of the loan amount if the company can't find someone to fill the position, which can be done by putting out the required advertisements for jobs the company doesn't want to fill anyways.

The PPP loans were called into question by other Redditors as well. "It's gross that they're not only not required to say where it goes to, but most business' I've looked up say 100 [percent] of their [loan] went to 'payroll,'" a user said. "Yeah f**king right."

Others brought up the possible PPP scams as well. "This is to keep their COVID loans converting into no-payback grants by 'looking' for employees they had no intention of hiring at anything but slave wages," a Redditor pointed out.

Some people brought up the Redditor's years of experience. "With at least 10 years of experience, you were doing them a favor only asking for 28 an hour," a user said. "Their loss."

Newsweek reached out to u/UBetcha84 for comment.