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Is It Illegal If My Boss Pays Me Lower Than White Employees? Top Wage Discrimination Lawyer Reply

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2014 | Employment Discrimination, Equal Pay Act Claims, National Origin Discrimination, Race Discrimination, Wage: Minimum Wage, Wage: Overtime |

Best Ohio Race Discrimination Attorney Answer: I’m a minority, and I’m not getting paid overtime – is that discrimination?  What if I know my boss is paying non-minority workers overtime?  What if my boss isn’t paying me overtime, and he isn’t paying anyone else overtime either – is that discrimination? Am I entitled to equal pay for equal work?

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One of the most unwelcome questions a co-worker can ask you is how much you are getting paid.  It’s a lose/lose situation – if you are getting paid less than the person asking you will be angry, but if you are getting paid more than the person asking, then she will be angry.  That is part of why it is so hard to spot wage discrimination claims – before you can tell whether your boss is paying you less than someone else because of your race or national origin, you have to know how much everyone else is getting paid.  But if you are getting paid less than your co-workers solely because of your race, your national origin, your religion, or your disability, then you are the victim of unlawful discrimination.

That’s what was happening at Chicken Express restaurants in Oklahoma.  Managers at Chicken Express were recruiting Hispanic and Latin American employees as kitchen workers.  Once hired, the employees were working overtime hours, but not getting overtime pay.  Non-Hispanic employees that worked overtime were paid overtime.  Facing suit for this discriminatory practice, Chicken Express eventually agreed to settle the claims against it by paying $15,000.

Can I sue my racist boss? My job does not pay Mexican employees overtime. I am not being paid for my time at lunch meetings. My supervisor hates Blacks. I’m working overtime but not getting paid anything. Should I be getting paid overtime wages? What is wage theft? I want to sue for race discrimination? Do I have a claim for national origin discrimination?

Here’s what you need to know to determine whether someone needs to step in on your behalf in a wage discrimination suit.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)  requires employers to pay nonexempt employees time and one-half their regular hourly rates for all hours worked beyond 40 hours a week.  If your boss is not paying you for overtime that you work, then he is violating the FLSA.  That gives you a wage claim against your boss, but not a wage discrimination claim.

Sometimes FLSA wage claims are not easy to spot.  Let’s say that you work 40 hours a week, and that every Friday your boss has a mandatory fifteen minute meeting during your lunch break.  You should be getting paid overtime wages for those fifteen minutes.  If you aren’t, then you might have a wage claim.

A wage discrimination claim is slightly different.  It might go along with a wage claim – as it did in the Chicken Express case – but it doesn’t have to.  If you are a minority and you get paid differently than non-minority employees, then you might be the victim of wage discrimination. It’s wage discrimination if you don’t get overtime an non-minorities do, if your rate of pay is lower than that of non-minority employees, if non-minorities are allowed to work overtime but you aren’t, etc

Wage claims and wage discrimination claims are not always open and obvious, but that doesn’t make them any less harmful.  If you even think that you may be entitled to pay that you haven’t received, or if you think you might be getting paid differently than non-minority employees, call for help.

If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards laws or you are an nonexempt employee that has been misclassified as exempt or independent contractor, contact the attorneys at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. The wage and hour lawyers at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation.  If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call 866-797-6040.

If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race or national origin, whatever race or national origin that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination and national origin discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with a employment  discrimination lawyer from Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.


The materials available at the top of this overtime, wage and hour, and race discrimination web page and at this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “Am I entitled to overtime?”, “Does my job have to pay me for …”, “My paycheck is not right…” or “What do I do if…”, the your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.

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