At some point, New York employees might learn that they are being paid less than another employee who has less seniority than they do. There are a number of reasons this might be the case and several approaches that employers might take if an employee makes a complaint about the issue. It is technically not illegal for an employer to do pay one employee less than another although it could cause morale problems and might leave the employer open to allegations of discrimination if the employee is a member of a protected class.
There might be a number of reasons that a newer employee is paid more. Even though they are new to the company, they might have more years of experience. The new hire might have more education, or they may contribute more to the company.
However, a company might perform a salary analysis and find that the lower-paid employee’s wages should be raised as well. For example, the company might have hired the lower-paid employee at a time when the market demand for that position was lower and failed to adjust their wages when the position became more in demand. In general, a company should be able to provide clear rationale for the various pay scales.
People who believe they are not being paid fairly might want to speak to an attorney before they address the issue with a supervisor or their human resources department. The issue might be one of possible discrimination, or they might not be getting overtime pay or other pay they are due. An attorney may be able to explain the employee’s rights and how to proceed, including whether or not they are in a protected class and when a lawsuit might be appropriate.