Recently Hired Employee Earning a Higher Wage

Do you have concerns about a recently hired employee earning a higher wage? Watch this video to learn about labor laws in California.

Question:

Is it illegal for an employee hired after me to earn a higher wage?

Answer:

I got a call this morning from an employee who noticed that their hourly rate was lower than a co-worker that had just been hired a month before. She had a question as to whether that was lawful. Can you have a long-term employee making less than a current employee? Can an employee get paid less or more than a co-worker? If an employer makes a decision to pay an employee a different rate, the employer always has, theoretically, that right. They just can’t do it for an unlawful reason.

In California, the laws are very clear that you can’t pay a different race, gender, or classification of people a different rate because of that characteristic. We talked about the fact that, as a woman, she felt that she was being paid a rate different than her new male counterpart. In fact, under California law, they’ve recently passed the Equal Pay Act, which protects, specifically, women from being paid less than men in comparable positions.

It’s Recently Hired Employee Earning a Higher Wagealways interesting when an employer makes a decision to pay new employees more than loyal employees that have been there for years. Unfortunately, in the United States, we have a history that’s not always a history that we can be proud of, and it’s not always a history that’s intentional. Sometimes employees are paid less just because they agreed to less and they negotiated a rate that was less, and that’s really all it is. Other times, it’s intentional discrimination. Whatever the case might be, sometimes that decision to pay more is intentional, and the boss made a calculated decision to pay one group of people less than another group of people. Sometimes it’s unintentional and they didn’t set up to treat people differently, but ultimately do. In California, both intentional and sometimes unintentional discrimination when it comes to pay are both unlawful.

If you feel that you’re being discriminated against because of an unlawful reason, because of who you are or because in the past you’ve complained about certain behavior, and as a result they’re penalizing you by paying you less than your co-workers, it’s important for you to understand that you may have rights, and it’s important for you to address those rights in a timely fashion. Every day that goes by is another argument for the employer to argue that their conduct is lawful. If you have questions regarding whether or not you have rights under California law as a result of being paid less than a co-worker, it’s important for you to talk to a law firm. If that’s our firm, great, give us a call. I’m happy to discuss any issues that you have regarding employment issues here in California. Thanks.


Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in California and have questions about a recently hired employee earning a higher wage? Contact the experienced California employment law attorneys at the Myers Law Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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