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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: Employment Law
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Three peers and I hold the same position. I have been in the

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Three peers and I hold the same position. I have been in the role the longest and have been salary for 6+ years. The other 3 were brought in after me and our leader decided to make them hourly. I had never put a pen and paper to the amount of $ they were making until now. I have started having to work overtime days for which I make no additional compensation, also they are paid for 10 eight hour holidays, not me. They make at minimum 20,000 dollars more a year than me. Is this legal?
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question.

I am very sorry to hear about this pay discrepancy. While understandably quite frustrating, unfortunately it is not illegal unless the reason for treating you different relates to a legally protected trait. Legally protected traits under Texas law include race, national origin, gender, disability, age (40 or older) or religion. If you can prove that the reason you are being paid on a salary basis, thus being deprived of additional compensation, is due to some underlying prejudice relating to your race or religion, for example, that would constitute unlawful discrimination and be actionable.

However, if the pay discrepancy exists for any other reason, that is not illegal, as employers have a tremendous amount of discretion to manage their business as they see fit and to compensate their employees in any manner compliant with minimum wage and overtime laws, regardless of what's fair or good policy.

All the above noted, please permit me to editorialize and state that, at least generally speaking, salaried compensation is preferred. It provides employees with a sense of stability and dependability that is not available if their pay is tied directly to hours. If an hourly employee misses half a day for a doctor's appointment, they are not paid for that time, but a salaried employee is. If there is a work shortage and an hourly employee is sent home, they are not paid for that time, but again a salaried employee is.

Have you considered the possibility that you are being paid on a salaried basis because your employer believes they are doing you a favor? If you think there is any chance of that being the case, you may wish to bring the issue of your compensation structure to your employer's attention. You have been employed for several years, and I hope I am not off base in assuming that your employer values your tenure and experience with the company.

If you tactfully make them aware of your concern about being paid on a salary basis, perhaps they will be open to paying you hourly if that is what you desire. That said, remember what I said above about the advantages of salaried pay. Perhaps this is a circumstance in which the "grass is greener" but you are not fully appreciating the upside of receiving a dependable salary.

In any event, as far as the law is concerned, there is regretfully no recourse for being paid on a salaried basis while other employees working the same position are paid hourly unless you can demonstrate an unlawful discriminatory basis for the discrepancy.

I hope that this clarifies the law as it relates to your question and that you have found my answer to be helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
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