Can dental hygienists in the same office be paid different wages?

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Can dental hygienists in the same office be paid different wages?

I am a dental hygienist with 20 years of
experience. I am 64 yrs old. I recently learned
that the dentist I am working for is paying more
money to new dental hygienists ages 23-29
with only 1-2 years of experience. The dentist
also offers bonus plans to some hygienists and
not to others. Are these actions legal?

Asked on August 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you feel that this wage discrepency is actually due to your age, then you many have a claim for workplace discrimination. The fact is that an employer cannot give less favorable treatment to certain employees based solely on their age, if they are over 40). However, if the compensation policy is based on giving newer workers more money in order to be competatitive with other employers in the area, then the higher wages are legal. The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly, that is absent some form legally actionable discrimination. In other words, differing treatment cannot be based on age (over 40), disability, race, religion, national origin, gender, etc. Also, such treatment cannot violate the terms of any exisiting employment contract or union agreement. If you are still unsure as to your situation, you can contact or state's department of labor, the EEOV or a local employment law attorney.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you feel that this wage discrepency is actually due to your age, then you many have a claim for workplace discrimination. The fact is that an employer cannot give less favorable treatment to certain employees based solely on their age, if they are over 40). However, if the compensation policy is based on giving newer workers more money in order to be competatitive with other employers in the area, then the higher wages are legal. The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly, that is absent some form legally actionable discrimination. In other words, differing treatment cannot be based on age (over 40), disability, race, religion, national origin, gender, etc. Also, such treatment cannot violate the terms of any exisiting employment contract or union agreement. If you are still unsure as to your situation, you can contact or state's department of labor, the EEOV or a local employment law attorney.


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