Discovering a coworker getting a better pay than you – even though you perform the same duties – can be devastating. You quickly think about your race or gender in search of reasons for this disparity. It is not against the law to pay people who do the same job differently. However, for whatever reason, the difference should not be big. If you are not sure why this is the case, it is advisable to check with the Human Resources department.
A coworker with better skills than you can be paid more than you. If a certain skill is highly relevant to a job, then a worker who has it may be paid more than you. For instance, computer science professionals who hold certain certifications may be paid more than their counterparts.
There are jobs where experience is a very important aspect. Someone who has been at it for a period of ten years is considered more valuable than a recently graduated employee who has only worked for five months. A new employee with experience will also get a higher offer than one with no experience. Jobs that require critical thinking or technical expertise are keen on experience. Examples are doctors, teachers and lawyers.
Companies have structured scales that they use to pay their employees. Education is one of the determinants of what scale you fall on. A coworker with a higher level degree will most likely be paid more than you. Additionally, an employee who takes further studies to improve his work-related skills is likely to be paid more.
You could have the same skills and level of education, but your colleague’s performance is not equal to yours. This includes being more accurate, taking up new projects, and keeping time. If your colleague is faster, more proactive and does not complain about any additional tasks, then chances are she could be paid more.
Period of Employment
Employers enjoy keeping a reliable and loyal employee. An employee who has worked for the company for a long time is appreciated by being paid better than her colleagues to encourage her stay. If you are newly employed, this may be the reason for the difference you notice in your pay.
Being Discriminated Against
Discrimination is illegal, but it is still practiced in the workplace and is often a reason for discrepancy in pay. There are employers who pay men and women performing similar jobs different wages. The most discriminated against are those in minority ethnic groups and the disabled. Paying based on gender, age, disability, race, etc. is illegal. Should you experience this kind of discrimination and can prove it, report the company to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is an independent federal agency that promotes equal opportunity in employment.
Most of the reasons for a colleague to be paid better than you are things that are easily achievable. You can turn yourself around into that employee who enjoys the full benefits in your company.
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