Is it legal to pay employees differently if they are performing the same job functions?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal to pay employees differently if they are performing the same job functions?

I was moved from one team to another, where the job duties and responsibilities were increased significantly and where my boss has said that our roles have changed. The team was created by taking others from different departments to create this oversight/third party risk group. We were told that our compensation and job level would be increased due to the new duties and responsibilities. There are 6 on our team; 2 of the team have significant job level differences 5 to 6 levels above the other 4. All 6 of us do the exact same work but we are completely on different pay scales and job levels. We have been doing the same job functions and responsibilities for almost a year now and no changes in our job level or compensation. Is this an EEOC violation?

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes it is legal to pay employees differently even if they are doing the same job. That is unless this violates the terms of an employment contract, union agreement, company policy, etc.

Also, no form of retaliation or actionable discriminarion must be a factor in the different pay scales. Accordingly, not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly; that is preferential treatment is perfectly legal. Lesser treatment is actionable only if an employee's inclusion in a "protected class" is the reason. In other words, an employee cannot be treated differently based on their nationality, religion, race, age, disability, sexual orienation or gender.

However, breach of an express (or even implied) promise does give rise to a legitimate claim, and you were told that you would be given increased compensation but have yet to receive it.

At this point you should consult directly with a local employment law attorney for further advice.

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes it is legal to pay employees differently even if they are doing the same job. That is unless this violates the terms of an employment contract, union agreement, company policy, etc.

Also, no form of retaliation or actionable discriminarion must be a factor in the different pay scales. Accordingly, not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly; that is preferential treatment is perfectly legal. Lesser treatment is actionable only if an employee's inclusion in a "protected class" is the reason. In other words, an employee cannot be treated differently based on their nationality, religion, race, age, disability, sexual orienation or gender.

However, breach of an express (or even implied) promise does give rise to a legitimate claim, and you were told that you would be given increased compensation but have yet to receive it.

At this point you should consult directly with a local employment law attorney for further advice.


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