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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I have been working for five years at this job. My job description

Customer Question

I have been working for five years at this job. My job description and pay has not changed even though my work is now of a completely different nature (was clerical now technical). I am still in the entry level range which assumes no specific job experience after five years. Do I have any recourse?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Do you work for a private employer or a government employer?

Do you have any reason to believe you may be experiencing race or gender discrimination, such that non-minorities or men are being paid more for the same work?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I work for the ca state university. I am confidential not union.

The additional work comes from a man (I am female) who makes 70k. He does have far more experience. I make 15 an hour. I have been told for three years that there was no room in the buget for raises but 5 months ago I was told by a manger that we shouldn't be asked to take on additional responsibility with out a change in job description/compensation. I am paid 2.50 less than the lowest paid person in my dept though there are many other employees who have not been here as long. Their work is different but no more complex.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I see.

The situation is a bit more complicated than most. While employer's typically have the discretion to pay employees at any rate they choose, if the employer has published pay scales for certain jobs, then employees should normally be paid within that scale or the employer risks a breach of implied contract claim typically.

In addition, it does sound as though there is something odd in this situation, but it is not clear what it is, since you are paid significantly less than the other lowest paid employee in the department.

Normally, to prove a claim of gender discrimination you must present evidence that similarly situated employees (ones who perform the same or virtually the same job and are as qualified or at least less qualified) who are male are being paid more than you are.

Here, it does not appear anyone has the same job as you do, or if there is one who has a job that is similar enough, they may be more qualified.

Without some circumstantial evidence of discrimination then, your claim would normally fail.

You could file a complaint with the state fair employment and housing commission, but they are unlikely to investigate on their own. Because of that, I would try first to consult further with a local employment law attorney to see whether there are any facts that may support a discrimination claim.

If not, then an implied contract claim would normally be your only other option to pursue any recourse against the employer.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

There is a published pay scale but the range is so large that my salary would fall within either range. Range 1 (1894-3606 month) range 2 (2277-4915). As you can see the low end and high end are double. However, due to the job classification description, I would be in the 2nd range and have never been moved out of the 1st. I believe that was an automatic minimum 5% raise and that change in experience probably happened 3-4 years ago. There is no one else who does exactly what I do, my job is about 45% the same as the person who gets $70k but the rest is something done only by me. I do not believe that the people paid more than me have a job that requires more expertise, as my job has become mostly technical and there's are primarily clerical/assistant type jobs. My position description has been submitted for a reevaluation at this point and they included the following language.


Increased duties and responsibilities have occured in this position since last accessed in March 2007, primarily in the area of providing support for CIRS related functions, including but not limited to answering telephone calls and providing administrative assistance, manging user id's, training notifications and other related administrative functions. Since 2007, this role has expanded to support technical manual updates for the PIMS manual, transferring various production files to outside vendors, and being solely responsible for office administrative duties.


Unfortunately, this is not a true reflection of the change of duties, as the primary change in duties has been in the techical area not administrative. I check programs for errors that are in production on a mainframe system, that volume of work has increased by about 60% since I started. My administrative change of duties has been marginal.


Does this change anything?


Can they force me to sign a job description that is incorrect? Especially if I get a nominal raise, if any?

Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
If you sign the job description, I would indicate that you do not agree with it necessarily but have reviewed it.

Since the published pay policy indicates you should be at level 2 based on your job description, and you are not, then you may be able to make a claim for gender discrimination even if there are not males who perform your specific job. If males are paid according to the pay scale and description and you are not, that could provide a basis for alleging gender discrimination.

This will be a fact-intensive review, analysis and argument, so it would be wise to retain a local attorney to represent you if you wish to pursue this further.

All the best to you!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your help!


Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome Shannon and take care!

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