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Employment Law/Salaried position offered

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Question
I have been with my company for 12 years at an hourly rate.  I was recently offered a salaried position (I didn't apply for it, it was offered to me) where I would have the same responsibilities that I currently have with a few additional responsibilities added. The initial salary offer was nearly $55,000/year less than what I grossed in 2012.  Obviously, I turned down this offer and attempted to negotiate a salary that is more in line with my current income. Their final offer increased merely $8,000/yr.  I was told that if I didn't accept this offer, the position would be posted for others to apply.  Additionally, I was told that my hours, will decrease as an hourly employee, but would remain the same as my current hours if I were to accept the salary offer.

I've been told by coworker, who has previously worked in HR for this company, that when a supervisory position is offered, the company cannot pay less than the previous year's gross income. This does not pertain to those who apply for the position. Can you tell me if there is a labor law regarding this, if so, can you point me in the right direction to read the information, or is this a situation that may vary depending on the company?  Thank you.

Answer
Doug:

I am not aware of any legal requirement such as your co-worker described to you.  Other than the laws providing for minimum wage and overtime compensation, employers generally have complete freedom to establish how much they will pay employees.  If such a rule does exist at your company, it is probably an internal compensation policy, or if you are represented by a union, it could be in the collective bargaining agreement.  So I think you need to talk with someone in HR to see the policy applicable to this situation, or get a copy of the collective bargaining agreement if there is one which applies to you.

I hope this helps, and wish you the best in resolving this situation.

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Frank C. Magill

Expertise

I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.

Experience

30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Organizations
Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

Education/Credentials
J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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