We have the same job, but I get paid less. What do I do?

Published Sunday, Mar. 05, 2017, Nine to Five, Globe & Mail


In Ontario, I work at a utility in a middle-management position, in a group of three people who do the same job – often swapping projects to balance workload, filling in for each other when necessary. However, one of us is paid at a grade higher. Several supervisors, over an 18-month period, have been unable to give me a reason for the discrimination, other than that the vice-president will not approve any grade changes. All have agreed the fair thing would be to raise my grade level. Other than look for a new job, which I am doing, do I have any recourse, either as an employee or a former employee?

THE ANSWER by Colleen Clarke, Corporate trainer, career specialist

Utility companies and government jobs are usually well-regulated for pay equity. Chances are, each of the three people in your group started with the company in different years, have varied education and possibly varied work experience and skills which means each salary is commensurate with the pay offering at the time of signing on. As two of you are in a lower pay grade, examine the different criteria against the higher paid manager to see if you can determine the variance.

Management agrees that a pay-grade increase would be appropriate yet, nothing is forthcoming. Are frozen wages or cutbacks in effect? It is important that you continue to perform at a high level so when the monies are available to move the two of you up, you’ll have a litany of accomplishments to speak to in a performance evaluation.

There is more than one way to be compensated for a job well done. Are perks an alternative to a monetary increase? More vacation time, added health care, a company car, cell phone payments, professional development or conferences.

Look for a new job if that is your druthers. As far as recourse or bargaining power with this company is concerned, I would doubt you have any. Once you leave a company you have zero recourse.

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