Can I take legal action against my company for not giving me a raise?

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Can I take legal action against my company for not giving me a raise?

I was on maternity leave. My entire department received a salary increase with the exception of myself and another lady who was also on maternity leave. The effective date of their increase was one day after the other lady went on maternity leave.

Asked on July 27, 2011 California

Answers:

Aryeh Leichter / Leichter Law Firm, APC

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you would like to discuss the matter further, please call (213-381-6557) or email me ([email protected]).

All the best,

 

Ari

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

From what you write, it would worthwhile for you to speak with an employment attorney; you may have a cause of action. Federal law (and possibly also CA law, too) prohibits discrimination against women and also discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Also prohibited is retaliating against someone for taking any leave, such as FMLA leave, to which they are legally entitled. Thus, there may have been discrimination against you and your colleague. Note that it is ok to not give you a raise even though you are  women, were pregnant, and took maternity leave, if the reason for that treatment has nothing to do with those things--e.g. it's because of a lack of credentials or experience, as compared to people who did receive raises. So the issue will hinge on *why* did you not get the raise, and when two womem who had children both fail to get a raise, there's enough likelihood that it was due to illegal action that it's worth consulting with an attorney to explore the matter further. Good luck.


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