Legal Question in Employment Law in California

My employer has had me working in a position that was a higher grade of pay than my own. I was originally a clerk the support for two unit secretaries one was promoted in 2010 and I was the temp fill in. When they hired the new unit secretary the old one was promoted in april 2010 then I was sent again to fill in. I inquired with our HR dept about the pay in Dec 2011 because I wanted to go to my manager after.They contacted my manager and director in Jan 2012 and they only got mad at me and asked me how dare I go to HR before speaking with them. But there was no follow up or resolution just them claiming that our roles are the same and that i'm doing nothing different. Then in April 2012 that new secretary was transferred to a new dept so than I was permanently placed as the unit secretary but there was no increase in my pay and now I have found out when they moved me to the position they eliminated the unit secretary position! So I am still getting paid below the starting of Unit Secretary. I feel I was discriminated against here by them eliminating the postion when it was obvious that I was now in that position and they knew I was pursuing the position since Dec 2011. So what should my next steps be?

Asked on 3/15/13, 1:06 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

If you are in a union, you may have a grievance. Otherwise, the employer is entitled to set and change hours, duties, titles, compensation, benefits, leaves, vacations, holidays, policies, rules, etc., just not retroactively. Not only are there no laws against poor management, 'unfair treatment', or rude, obnoxious or harassing behavior by management or other employees, but in general, unless an employee is civil service, in a union, or has a written employment contract, they are an 'at will' employee that can be disciplined or terminated any time for any reason, with or without ‘cause’, explanation or notice.

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Answered on 3/17/13, 1:10 pm
Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

There is no law against discrimination. There are only laws against discrimination for particular reasons, such as gender or race. If you believe you have been treated differently than other employees based on a protected status, such as race or gender, you may have a case. If they are just treating you unfairly for an unprotected reason, you have no options but to take it, or find another employer.

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Answered on 3/19/13, 1:25 pm

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