Is it legal to hire new employees at a higher wage than existing employees?

I found out that new hires make almost $1 more per hour than most existing

employees. Isn’t this against the equal pay for the same job laws? Shouldn’t

existing employees be brought to the same rate to account for cost of living that

new hires are being hired at?

Asked on September 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless this action violates the terms of a union agreement/employment contract or constitutes some form of legally actionable (which it does not appear to), you have no claim here. The fact is that not all workers must be treated the same or even fairly (again absent actionable discrimination). Most employment is "at will", which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes what to pay employees, new or existing. Accordingly, your options are to either accept the wage differential, complain and risk termination, or quit.


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