Legal Question in Discrimination Law in California

Wage Discrimination

Is it wage discrimination if one manager(1) is paid less than another manager(2), even though manager(1) has equal or more responsibility than manager(2)?

Both managers are of the same sex.

If it is not discrimination why isn't it?

Asked on 7/24/01, 9:49 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Ken Koenen Koenen & Tokunaga, P.C.

Re: Wage Discrimination

Pay scale can be determined by a number of factors other than responsibilities. Some examples are length of time with the employer or in that particular position, educational background, things the other manager may do above and beyond her normal responsibilities, even the amount of competition for that other managers services from other prospective employers.

The best way to earn more money is to become so valuable to the employer (and thus to his competitors) that he will pay you more to keep you there. Wouldn't you want to be paid more than another manager if you were more valuable to the employer?

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Answered on 7/25/01, 12:33 pm
Thomas Pavone Pavone & Cohen

Re: Wage Discrimination

No. Discrimination must be based upon a protected status (age, race, sex, national origin, disability status, etc.

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Answered on 7/25/01, 1:42 pm
C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Wage Discrimination

Yes, of course it is discrimination. But there may not be a law against it unless you can show that it is the result of age discrimination or some other area which is protected by public policy, like race, gender, religion, ethnicity. But if the discrimination is just at the whim of the employer, and not related to a protected category, then you just have to endure it, complain about it, or find another job which doesn't annoy you so much. Reminds me of that story Jesus told about the wages paid to the last guy hired that day being the same as those paid to everyone else. If that last guy had been a Hebrew, and everyone else a Philistine, then the California Civil Rights Act might compel the employer to redress the grievances of the underpaid workers. If you think there is some chance the employer is discriminating against you on the basis of age or ethnicity, etc., I suggest you make an appointment with an attorney who is experienced in civil rights matters to discuss it. Call your county bar association referral service for a referral if you don't know anyone you trust.

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Answered on 7/25/01, 5:12 pm

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