Is it legal for a company to give an across the board pay raise to all employees except one because of medical issues?

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

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Is it legal for a company to give an across the board pay raise to all employees except one because of medical issues?

I took some extra time off of work because of physical medical issues. I also entered myself into rehab for 28 days. I kept my employer aware of both situations ahead of time. Both issues were non related. When I came back to work everyone had received a raise but me as far as I know. My personal relations person notified me I would not receive my raise for another 3 months with no explanation why. Could this be considered discrimination? What are my options?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF your medical condition would qualify as a disability under the law--and be aware that the vast majority of medical conditions do not; to be a disability, a condition must have significant impacts on daily life or work functions and must not be readily remediable by medicine--then not giving you a raise due to it could be illegal discrimiantion. However, if your condition was not a disability, this treatment would seem to be perfectly legal.

Indeed, even if your condition is a disability, it may well be legal to do what your company did--by your own admission, you took time off from work. The company could make a case that it is not discriminating against you due to the medical condition, but is not giving you a raise because you did not work a full year. Making you wait for 3 months or so is not unreasonable, and therefore may not be discrimination--it may let you "catch up" to people who did not take time off.

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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