How can I challenge my employer on an unfair payrate?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How can I challenge my employer on an unfair payrate?

The existing employee’s are doing the same job and training the new people coming in, but the new hires are making at least $3 more with no experience. We are only ever told not to discuss your wages but never told why they make more. The new employees do not have more education; they are told that this is the starting pay of the position that they are applying for. But the existing employee’s pay wasn’t raised to match.

Asked on April 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As long as the federal minimum wage law is being complied with their really isn't much that you can do.  While unfair, it is against the law; that is unless you have an employment contract, union agreement, or company policy that specifically prohibits such action.  If your employment is "at will" (and most employment is), that means that an employer cannot only hire and fire employees as it wants, it may also set their job titles, duties, conditions, and compensation.  As a general rule, there is no legal obligation to pay employees with the same job title or at the same level equally.

That having been said, what an employer cannot do is discriminate on the basis of a "protected category" (such as race, religion, age, disability status, or gender). If it treats an employee worse due to any of the foregoing, than that would be illegal.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As long as the federal minimum wage law is being complied with their really isn't much that you can do.  While unfair, it is against the law; that is unless you have an employment contract, union agreement, or company policy that specifically prohibits such action.  If your employment is "at will" (and most employment is), that means that an employer cannot only hire and fire employees as it wants, it may also set their job titles, duties, conditions, and compensation.  As a general rule, there is no legal obligation to pay employees with the same job title or at the same level equally.

That having been said, what an employer cannot do is discriminate on the basis of a "protected category" (such as race, religion, age, disability status, or gender). If it treats an employee worse due to any of the foregoing, than that would be illegal.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption