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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18810
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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, Is it legal employer to have me within a pay grade

Customer Question

Hello
JA: Hi. What seems to be the problem?
Customer: Is it legal for my employer to have me within a pay grade but not disclose the parameters of job descriptions in that grade?
JA: Got it. The Employment Lawyer will know how to help you. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Employment Lawyer can help you best. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: I was hired at a grade for an accounting position that I have found out was graded at an admin level. After 2 years and taking on double the duties of which were all accounting functions (i.e. purchase orders, etc) I asked for a grade change. They denied my request but instead brought me to the top of my grade where I will receive a 3% check at raise time. The hourly rate will not go up. After 2 more years and adding even more workload to my duties and stellar performance (which they agree with) I asked for a grade change again. They denied again on the basis that all that I have added to my duties are within my grade. Although I have requested many times for disclosure of the grade for which I am in, they refuse to tell me what the parameters of that grade is. I am aware that the duties I am now doing is being paid to the man I am doing half his duties for is 14, whereas I am an 8. Is it legal for them to not tell me parameters of which I am being graded against?
JA: Is there anything else the Employment Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: I don't think so
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

The concept of employer grades for certain work positions is not legally controlled by external laws in employment law. What I mean by this is that these "grades" aren't mandated or regulated by employment law, so it's not a legal construct. Job descriptions are also not legal constructs, but merely guidelines to assist an employer and employee in understanding what the job functions are.

So yes, it is legal to tell you the parameters of the grades or not tell you the parameters of your grade. All these things are discretionary employer functions. Now, all the said, why then do employers tend to create these things and abide by them if they don't have to? Consistency helps to avoid allegations of discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, disability or recent FMLA use; whereas, a lack of consistency can basically invite an allegation of discrimination.

So, if you can allege that the actions being taken against you (disparate or differing treatment) are or could be related to one of the protected categories that I mentioned THEN the matter of them not following their guidelines on grades becomes an actual legal issue that can be dealt with through a complaint to HR, and if not resolved, a complaint to the EEOC in your state.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.