Is it legal to give the men in a company a raise with different stipulations then the women?

Another woman and I were hired 6 months ago for a sales position. We signed paperwork with the company that we would receive a $10,000 raise after 3 months of employment if we produced a certain amount in sales volume. We exceeded the amount requested and she and I have been the top sales associates every month since we started working for the company. However, the owner said that we don’t deserve the raise. He said we don’t work hard enough. He said that now in order to get the raise we must take a class, pass a test and be reinterviewed. However, the $10,000 raise was automatically given to the men in the company that produced far less then we have every month. We have also been constantly sexually harassed by management. It got so bad that I had to go to the doctor and get put on medication for anxiety. I went to a manager and told them what was going on. They talked to him. I feel this is another reason why I didn’t get my raise.

Asked on November 19, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Men and women can be treated differently--e.g. men getting a raise when women don't--only if there is some valid, non-gender-based reasons, like higher sales, or having relevant  credentials (e.g. degrees or certifications) the women lacked, or more years experience, and it can be shown that the alleged non-gender reason is a valid reason for the differential treatment and not merely a pretext.
Based on what you write, that does not appear to be the case, since you appear to have met the criteria for the raise. That, coupled with the sexual harassment, suggests strongly that the treatment is based on your sex and that you have a valid sexual discrimination claim under both federal and state law (NJ has some strong state laws on the subject). Contact the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) about filing a complaint, and good luck.


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