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Job/pay Level Changes Illinois

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  • Job/pay Level Changes Illinois

    Is there any law or assistance available to an employee when their job is reevaluated but they are not grandfathered into the new pay level?
    Example -
    Billing is a pay level 5. Job is re-evaluated, requires a degree and is a pay level 9. None of the four current specialists have degrees. The company is indicating that they do not meet the requirements for the job, but are keeping them as Billing Specialists and requiring them to perform the same functions as the job description but at the pay level 5. New Billing Specilists have been hired at the grade level 9, and additional staff will be coming in later at the level 9.

    No other positions around the level 9 require a degree, including supervisor and management positions.

    Can they legally do this? Require all employees in the same job to do the same work for different pay b/c they have decided to re-evaluate a position in such a way that the current employess are not qualified to do their jobs? What laws would govern this type of situation?

  • #2
    1. I have no idea what if anything IL law says on this specific subject. My bet would be that IL statutory law says nothing specific. Still, I have been wrong before. There are a lot of very strange state laws out there very specific to certain states. If I remember correctly, IL is the state that limits the hours that washing room attendants can work, while letting police officers and emergency room doctors work unlimited hours. Or something like that. Never under estimate the ability of state legislatures to create unusual and unique laws specific to their states.

    2. However courts often have something to say about issues. The absence of statutory law often just gives judges a free hand to make things up. The particular case you should be interested in is Griggs v Duke Power. The facts are not identical to your situation (that was a wrongful termination case), but the basic principal is arguably the same, and would make me a little concerned if I was your employer.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      What would concern me is not so much the "equal pay" issue as such, but the fact that now (apparently, arbitrarily) requiring a college degree to hold the position could be considered discriminatory, since certain races tend to have degrees more than others. I can't imagine that the duties of a Billing Specialist would require a degree as a bona fide occupational qualification. Stretching here, but not impossible.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        That is pretty much the Griggs decision argument. The fact that there is an actual court decision that someone won using that argument is what would give me pause if I was the employer. However, usual caveats:
        - Facts are not identical with Griggs, just similar.
        - I do not know exactly which jurisdiction Griggs was in, but mathematically it is not likely it has in IL. Meaning that there is a really good chance that Griggs is not hard precedent.
        - Employer's attornies have grounds to argue that Griggs is not applicable. Not certain grounds. Not probable grounds. Just grounds.

        Still, should this go to court/administrative decision, from the employer's standpoint Griggs at best is a dark cloud on their horizon that they will have to deal with. The OP might want to research Grigg a little (Google is your friend) and take the results of their research and have a talk with their employer. Give the employer a chance to voluntarily climb down from the ledge. Also, Grigg is a stick, not a sword. If things get nasty, the employer could still win this.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          I have made up the title of the job, it is not the true job title.

          I will google the case you mentioned. Thank you so much for your insight!


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