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Are there any laws that can support me demanding a position and salary market re-evaluation? Not a raise, but a full market eval

Berkeley, CA |

Very long story shortened; I believe that my position and salary were not at all determined accurately nor lawfully.... the HR director at my company is in charge of finalizing offers. She never asked me about my prior salaries before here, only my temp agency pay rate, which was not for the same role I was hired for permanently. She did not research our community fair market for my field of work and did not consider my years of experience. My job description is not correct to my position and responsiblities at all. The person in m position before me was given the correct salary and position description; she was older than me, so I have felt like I have been discriminated against by the HR director because of me being much younger and the details of how my offer was created can't be lawful

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Unfortunately there is nothing in your post to suggest that your employer has acted unlawfully in any way. As unfair as it may seem, there is no law that requires employers to pay a fair rate - only a minimum wage.

    Employers are allowed to make offers of employment with pay rates that are grossly lower than the market rate, or that were created without any research, or any reference to the employee's prior wage experience. In fact, there are no laws that exist that tell an employer what to pay employees except for certain minimum requirements that do not appear to apply here.

    You mention that you are being treated differently because of your age. Unfortunately, the age discrimination laws do not apply to the youth of the employee. They only protect employees of 40 years of age and higher.

    If you are not being paid your fair market rate, you need to find new employment.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  2. Your salary may not be at "market rate," but there does not appear to be anything unlawful in what your employer did. Nothing requires your employer to ask about your prior salaries, research comparable salaries, or consider your years of experience in connection with setting your compensation.

    I also do not see any actionable discrimination in anything that you describe.

    You can certainly ask for a salary re-evaluation, and point out why you believe you should be earning more money -- but there is nothing in the law that requires your employer to conduct that re-evaluation.


  3. In a free market economy in an "at will" state there is nothing to compel your employer as your request.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  4. Two practical suggestions for you:

    1. Have a lawyer do an analysis of your job duties to make sure you are classified correctly as an exempt, salaried employee. If not, you may be entitled to overtime pay.

    2. Go to HRthatworks.com and take a look at the article entitled "Why I deserve a raise." The site is designed for HR Professionals but it has really good stuff. I think you can get a 30-day free trial, and the article will give you practical tips for negotiating a raise.

    Best regards,

    David A. Mallen
    310.895.0107

    David A. Mallen offers answers on Avvo for general information only. This offer of free, general answers is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. If you need specific advice regarding your legal question, you should consult an attorney confidentially. Many experienced California labor and employment attorneys, including David A. Mallen offer no-risk legal consultations to employers and employees at no charge. David A. Mallen is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, as well as the California Labor Commissioner and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Failure to take legal action within the time periods prescribed by law could result in the loss of important legal rights and remedies.

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