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Equal Pay for Equal Work

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I work for a chemical company in Texas. There are 8 employees in my department, all making different pay for doing the same job. The company says they have a "merit system", and we do get annual reviews every year that are used to determine our increases. The company has never produced a copy of this merit policy. When someone leaves or quits their job, the company will bring in another employee from a different department who is always making $2.00 to $3.00 more per hour that the existing department employees. So we have a novice employee with no department skills who is making 4 to 6 thousand dollars more per year than the regular department employees. Shouldn't we all be making the same pay for the same work? Our raises normally only amount to around 3%, so we would never catch up with the pay of some of the more highly paid department employees. We think the company is using this so called "merit system" as a means of keeping our pay as low as possible, all of the non-exempt employees in all of the other departments make the same pay for the same job descriptions, (they do not have merit systems, but get an annual cost of living adjustment). Is there anything we can do legally to force the company to equalize the pay for our deparment?





To my knowledge there is no such federal law that mandates equal pay for equal work. However, your employer is obligated to allow you and all other employees to review the merit system at a mutually convenient time. If they refuse to allow you or any other employee this review opportunity, then you may have a claim for breach of contract or something akin to that. Your best bet is to contact a labor lawyer near you by consulting attorneypages.com.

Mark B. Replogle

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