There are at least 2 employees doing exactly the same type of work: me and another employee (EE): we settle client debts. However, EE actually do not have the license to do this type of work. Employer lends his license to EE to do the job. I have the license to do this type of work.
I have been paid at least 3,000 less for 1 year and 1 month.
We do the exact same work. Employer favors EE and other employees because they belong to the same race. I am of a different race.
a. Do I have at least an unequal pay case? Racial discrimination may not fly.
b. How are damages computed?
The Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 USCA § 201 (EPA) applies when members of one sex are paid at a different rate than members of the other sex, for the same work, and all other things being equal. It's really a form of sex discrimination.
If members of one race are paid differently from members of another race, there may be race discrimination. But that information by itself is not enough to go on.
Employers do not have to treat employees fairly or equally. Employees have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. Given that, to make out a case of race discrimination (or any kind of unlawful discrimination), you pretty much have to rule out all other reasons for the pay difference. Maybe the other employee has a demeanor the employer likes better. Or maybe the other employee has more relevant experience. Or maybe the other employee is a personal friend of the employer, or of the employer's sister's cousin. Paying someone a different amount for any of these reasons is perfectly lawful.
Please see my guide to at-will employment in California which should help you understand your rights now and in the future: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/a-short-summary-of-california-at-will-employment.
You appear to be the same person who asked about whistleblowing in a separate question. Is there a relationship between the whistleblowing and this question?
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
While race discrimination and gender discrimination are unlawful, there are a plethora of reasons why employees receive different rates of pay.
Since this is a public forum, and such cases are very fact specific, you should consult with a plaintiff's employment lawyer to ascertain whether or not you have a viable case and what damages to which you might be entitled.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
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