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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11243
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I'm currently at an employer that offers a lifestyle

Customer Question

I'm currently at an employer that offers a lifestyle package. This is where an employee is on call for a set amount of hours throughout the week. We get paid 40hrs no matter what. This position was created to help alleviate employees who work 40hrs throughout the week from being called in throughout the night.
Here is the scenario:
I was hired to fill one of these positions in the operating room. There is also the same position for recovery. We both take 60hrs of being on call. We are both nurses. We both get paid the same. However... here is the difference. I take call for BOTH the operating room and recovery, while the recovery nurse only takes call for recovery. Is this right!? Should I get a premium. I'm asking because it is an equal position with equal pay.. but not equal requirements. Also, no other nurse in our department takes call between the departments. So I'm wondering if this isn't right, what would be recommended that I do!? I work at Creighton University Medical Center in omaha if this would help.
My other concern is that our "interrim" operating room manager has a sister who is a charge nurse in the same department.. this is concerning for us since her sister seems to have a lot of influence... are there rules against having family working in higher positions together in the same department!?Thank you for your time
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

While I completely appreciate your concern and frustration, there is actually no law requiring employers to be fair or to pay employees with more difficult or time consuming job duties more. The only restriction is that an employer cannot pay one employee more than another if their motivation is a legally protected trait. Legally protected traits are things like race, religion, age or gender. So, if you could prove that you were getting the more difficult on call assignment BECAUSE of your race, or BECAUSE of your religion (which doesn't appear to be the case based on what you've described) it would become actionable under civil rights laws.

But in all other circumstances, your employer is free to be unfair, and to pay two positions equl even though one is harder. Your only recourse in this circumstance is to reason and persuade.

As for the operating room manager who has a sister in the same department, there is nothing illegal about that either. This is an unfortunate matter of office politics for which there is no recourse under the law.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. 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 moving forward.

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