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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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In 2013, as General Manager/ Controller, my year-end pay was

Customer Question

In 2013, as General Manager/ Controller, my year-end pay was $67,000 plus 1% commissions on all sales except house accounts. I grossed $80,000. in 2014, I grossed $77,000. Also, in 2014, I had a heart attack and had to attend rehab through out the year but fully recovered. I am the oldest employee still with the company and female. Starting 2015, the Executive General Manager dissolved my commission payments due to business being down and gross profit falling. I understood we all needed to sacrifice for the good of the company. Business has not recovered, however, recently 5 employees were given raises, including the Executive General Manager, who was hired in 2013 and raised from $88,000 base before benefits and another raise this last week to $55.00 an hour from $45.00 per hour which increased his benefits of Employer Simple IRA. The Executive General Manager is required to work only 23 hours per week compared to my 40 hours. I am female. This past year, four of the company's top sales people quit working for the company. We have gone from 6 sales people to 2. Am I being discriminated by this company for my health issues or age or gender?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.
You have not stated any facts which suggest that the reason you have not been given a raise is due to a prejudice about you being female or about how old you are. Do you have any such specific facts indicating that this would be the reason for your employer's conduct?
I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I was told that the decrease in my pay was due to the company's decrease in profit. So eight months later five people were given raises and being controller I know the company is doing much poorer financially than when my pay had been decreased. I'm just baffled. I am a very good accountant and general manager. The owner and the Executive GM only work 23 hours per week, which is not my business, but they work those hours because they know I will take care of whatever comes up when they are out.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are not really hiding any of the raises except the Executive GM because I sign off on the payroll. I feel like management wants me to get mad and leave because of my past health issues. They have assigned me more duties since one half of the staff left the company and I was told that management wanted to reward the people who stayed with the company.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
In general, employers have tremendous freedom when it comes to how they choose to run their business, including how they pay their employees. Decisions need not be fair, or reasonable, they just can't be based on legally protected traits, such as gender or age.
That said, as the plaintiff in a gender or age discrimination lawsuit against your employer, YOU will have the burden of proving that your employer's motivation was unlawful. This burden can almost never be satisfied by process of elimination. In other words, you need affirmative evidence of an intent to discriminate against you because you are a woman or because of how old you are. You can't simply argue that your employer's decision didn't make sense, or that you can't think of another reason why they did what they did. I can understand why those things would certainly make you suspicious of discrimination, and I am not even saying that discrimination is not the reason this is happening to you. What I'm saying is that you simply won't succeed in court unless you have better evidence, and the last thing you want to do is launch a lawsuit against your employer, spending thousands of dollars and countless hours of your time and, in that process, completely destroy your employment relationship (which is what lawsuits do).
The best thing that you can do at this stage is document any and all facts and occurrences which you believe support age or gender discrimination. If you acquire more compelling evidence, you may wish to consult with a local attorney at that point in time about the prospect of moving forward with a legal claim. But in the mean time, based on what you have described here, it would be unwise to bring a legal claim as such claim would be practically doomed to fail for lack of sufficient evidence.
I hope that you find this information 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 moving forward.

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