Can I sue my employer for paying me a lower wage than other employees doing similar or less work?

I am in a leadership role in which employees I’m expected to lead are paid a higher wage.

Asked on March 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, employers are free to pay any employee any wage they like--to even pay leaders or supervisors less than those  they lead or manage. The only exceptions are:

1) If there is an employment contract (including union agreement) setting pay, its terms must be followed.

2) It is illegal to pay someone less due to his or her race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability (under federal law; some states also protect a few other categories, chiefly national origin, family status, or sexual orientation).

But apart from 1) or 2), your employer would seem to be able to do this.


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