Where we live, most of the other horse farms hire illegal immigrants which poses several problems in getting an honest response to this question:
A: The owners won't admit to hiring illegals.
B: Since they won't admit to hiring illegals, it stands to reason that they won't admit they pay them pennies on the dollar instead of the local minimum wage.
As the barn owners, we generally do the work ourselves and are looking into hiring someone. In the past, we've had individuals who keep their horses here whom we've allowed to "work off" some of their board at a rate of $2.00 per stall cleaned. What that arrangement usually turns into is that our new "worker" speeds through the barn, "cleaning" 12 stalls in an hour. This results in us being on the hook for crediting (or paying) $24.00 for an hour of substandard work (imagine a child picking at their plate and "tossing" the food around in an attempt to make it look they've eaten something... that is what the "cleaning" amounts to). We then have the "please take your time, and be sure to do x,y and z when cleaning the stalls...", which maybe works for that days' worth of work, then they are right back to rushing and not actually doing anything that helps us.
That alternate is that we had tried offering minimum wage and saying "Okay... we'll have you come work for 2 hours on X day." and the "employee" then spends 45 minutes picking out a matted stall and ends up completing about 3 or 4 stalls over the course of 2 hours. Ughhhhh! Inevitably, either situation results in us saying "Sorry, we don't need your help any longer".
I know darned well that at other farms, stable hands are paid minimum wage, at best, for their services... right?
I can definitely see why the local farms hire illegal immigrants who they can pay substandard wages; the job is typically thankless and even though it is manual labor, our local economy means boarders aren't willing to pay the barn owners minimum wage for the time they spend on the horses, much less paying enough to support a paid employee.
Thanks for reading and responding to my rant :/ I'm just at a loss and can't help but wonder about the people who I know we have paid more than generously trying to take advantage of us. We'd like to hire help and be fair, but at the same time we aren't going to pay $24 for an hours worth of work!
P.S. I do know that, for starters, we will no longer be allowing boarders to "work off" board. Grumble:::grumble:::grumble