Is it legal to be paid less than regular employees of the same company based on your previous employer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal to be paid less than regular employees of the same company based on your previous employer?

My employer sold the company to another company, most of us kept our jobs, but we’re getting paid a lot less than if we were to get hired from the 2nd employer. We know that starting pay is much higher if you got hired from the 2nd employer, and we thought after our

90 day probation, that we would get the standard pay with the company, however this is not the case and I feel as if we’re being discriminated against because we were previously employeed by the company that got bought out. Is it legal for that to happen?

Asked on August 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that most businesses can set the conditons of employment much as they see fit. This includes how much to pay certain employees. Therefore, unless this pay discrepency breaches the terms of a union/collective bargaining agreement or employment contract, it is perfectly permissable. Further, not all workers need to be treated the same or even fairly. The fact is that some employees can receive benefits that other do not unless the differing treatment constitues some form of legally actionable discrimination. In other words, they cannot be paid less, etc. due to their race, religion, gender, disability, age (over 40), etc.

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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