Can a company pay all employees full on-call pay except pay one person for only half on-call pay?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2011

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Can a company pay all employees full on-call pay except pay one person for only half on-call pay?

At my company people work weekly on-call. As far as I can tell, everyone gets full on-call pay except for 2 people in my department. One person gets no on-call and the other only gets half of his on-call pay.

Asked on September 1, 2011 Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, employees do not have to be treated equally. It is perfectly legal to give one employee less favorable treatment than another (or more favorable treatment) as long as such treatment does not violate company policy, or a union agreement, or an employment contract. Also, if differing treatment is the result of discrimination. So for example, if you have been given less favorable treatment due to your status in a legally protected class, that would be against the law.

Note:  There can be no discrimination in employment based on such factors as: race, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, national origin.

The fact is that in an at will employment arrangement an employer has virtually complete discretion id setting the conditions and terms of employment. For their part, an employee can choose to work (or continue to work ) for an employer or not.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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