Can an employer give half the employees paid leave for a hurricane but require the other half to work without giving them the same paid leave?

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Can an employer give half the employees paid leave for a hurricane but require the other half to work without giving them the same paid leave?

I work for a county. Due to a hurricane they decided to close most county departments half of Thursday and all of Friday. All completely closed departments got paid 4 hours for Thursday and 8 hours for Friday. My department have the crew got to go home Thursday and Friday and have had to work. I work 6 and 3 quarters of an hour on Thursday and they compensated me one and a quarter hours for hurricane pay. Friday I also work 6 and 3 quarters of an hour during the storm and they compensated me 1 and a quarter hours for hurricane pay. My fellow co-workers did not have to work at all during the storm and got compensated for 4 hours for Thursday and 8 hours for Friday. Should all employees get the same compensation?

Asked on October 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As long as no form of legally actionable discrimination was the reson for this action and it does not violate the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it is legal. Absent any of the foregoing, not all employees need be treated the same (or even fairly for that matter). In an "at will" employment setting an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes paying different employees in different departments different pay.


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