What to do if my exempt employee classification was not changed 7 years ago despite a request by my supervisor?

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What to do if my exempt employee classification was not changed 7 years ago despite a request by my supervisor?

My job title was changed but not the grade of my job. New employee hired at what should have been my grade. We had the same job title and duties however he was in the higher grade. He was paid more despite less experience, knowledge, and.or degrees. For a 3 year period he was paid a higher salary, without my knowledge. I have since moved to a new position and new department but within the same organization. I recently found out about salary difference. Am I able to file a complaint/action to try to recoup this difference in salary between myself and the newer employee?

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An employer may legally pay a newer employer more than a more-experienced employee--the law does not recognize seniority or experience, unless there is an employment contract in place which does. The law also does not require promotions or title changes to be accompanied by raises. The fact that your supervisor requested a raise or higher pay grade for you is irrelevant--if you did not receive it, presumably someone else at the company with the authority to do so (e.g. higher management) vetoed the suggestion, which the law allows. (i.e. the law does not make a request by a supervisor binding on the company, as a general matter.)

This would only be illegal if:

1) You'd had an actual emloyment agreement or contract guarantying you the higher pay grade; or

2) There was a union or collective bargaining agreement which set out how employees must be paid based on seniority or experience, and the company violated that agreement; or

3) You are over 40 years old, and there is no good business reason for paying you less than the other employee, who is less than 40 years old; in that case, you may have an age discrimination claim.


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