Is it legal for a company to give an across the board pay raise to all employees except one because of medical issues?

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Is it legal for a company to give an across the board pay raise to all employees except one because of medical issues?

I took some extra time off of work because of physical medical issues. I also entered myself into rehab for 28 days. I kept my employer aware of both situations ahead of time. Both issues were non related. When I came back to work everyone had received a raise but me as far as I know. My personal relations person notified me I would not receive my raise for another 3 months with no explanation why. Could this be considered discrimination? What are my options?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

IF your medical condition would qualify as a disability under the law--and be aware that the vast majority of medical conditions do not; to be a disability, a condition must have significant impacts on daily life or work functions and must not be readily remediable by medicine--then not giving you a raise due to it could be illegal discrimiantion. However, if your condition was not a disability, this treatment would seem to be perfectly legal.

Indeed, even if your condition is a disability, it may well be legal to do what your company did--by your own admission, you took time off from work. The company could make a case that it is not discriminating against you due to the medical condition, but is not giving you a raise because you did not work a full year. Making you wait for 3 months or so is not unreasonable, and therefore may not be discrimination--it may let you "catch up" to people who did not take time off.


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