Can a company give cost of living raises to some and not others?

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Can a company give cost of living raises to some and not others?

For the last 3 years, the company has given cost of living raises to new hires but not to employees with more than 10 years service. Is this legal. the company says we are maxed out, yet I know of 1 person with 5 yrs service who now makes more hourly than me.

Asked on April 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It is legal as long as they are not discriminating against older employers--those who are age 40 or more. However, this may be a case of de facto (or practical or in actuality) discrimination, since it is very likely that the employees with 10 or more years service are older and are disproportionately those over 40. If you are 40 or older, you may have a viable age-related employment discrimination claim (the law protects employees age 40 and over from being treated worse than younger employees, unless there is some valid, neutral, non-age-related reason to explain the discrepancy); in this case, it would be worthwhile to contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to discuss the situation.


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