Do employers have to offer equal incentives to all employees?

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Do employers have to offer equal incentives to all employees?

Or can certain employees get incentives and not others? I work in marketing and would like to be compensated for the work i do on one account. My colleagues also work on the design and development of the site. How can i be compensated for all the work I do above and beyond work hours? I increased sales by over 100 recently and I’d really like to pitch an incentivized or bonus structure. My boss said it’s not legal for him to give me an incentive and not my colleagues. There has to be a loophole if that is in fact true.

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that a company can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. Accordingly, so long as there does not exist an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, an employer can offer an incentive to just some workers but not to others. The fact is that not all workers need be treated the same or even fairly. That is as long as no form of legally actionable discrimination is the reason for the differing treatment (i.e. based on race, religion, age (over 40), disability, etc.). As for not being paid for your time, if you are a non-exempt employee (i.e. typically hourly versus salary), then you are entitled to be compensated for any hours you work over 40 in a work week.


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