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Different Job Classifications but Same Duties Alabama

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  • Different Job Classifications but Same Duties Alabama

    All,

    I was hoping that someone might have some insight for me on a topic. I may be SOL but I thought I'd check to see if there is any kind of argument.

    I work for the State of Alabama at one of the various departments. I was hired here after college and have been working nearly 7 years. When I came to the department, there were 4 positions that do approximately what I do on a day-to-day basis. There was originally only 1 Technician Sr spot but they eventually were able to make 1 of the 3 other spots into another Technician Sr job. The other job is a regular Technician position that is non-exempt. They gave that job to a guy that had been working there around 20 years. Basically that guy's job after 20 years was my first job out of college and they gave him that job because he had "seniority".

    The Sr level job is the exempt and my job is the non-exempt position. Throughout the years I have done more work than the guy that they promoted. I know that isn't justification as far as a legal standpoint for anything but there's more to the story. The guy they promoted has always rubbed people the wrong way although right now he's doing alright. He once got into a verbal argument with me and asked if "we wanted to finish the conversation at his house". He has also admitted to drug use multiple times.

    There have been a number of changes in my section and our boss(which was his friend also) got reassigned and we work for another person. That person and his boss doesn't trust him as much as they trust me so I now have more responsibility than him at work.

    My problem is not pay differentiation based on seniority but it has to do with the fact that I am doing, at the very least, the same job but I honestly have more day-to-day responsibility than him(not managing though).

    Is there any kind of argument to be made or do I just need to find another job? Montgomery isn't thriving so finding another job is actually hard. Not that it matters but I also have a master's degree and he has a G.E.D.
    Last edited by 01grander; 07-22-2015, 10:55 AM.

  • #2
    This is not a legal issue. I'm not in the least unsympathetic to your position but this is between you and your employer.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      My problem is not pay differentiation based on seniority but it has to do with the fact that I am doing, at the very least, the same job but I honestly have more day-to-day responsibility than him(not managing though).
      What outcome are you trying to achieve? You say the problem is not pay differentiation, so I assume you are not asking for a raise. Do you just want a more equitable division of the duty? It's hard to advise you without understanding what it is you want.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ferretrick View Post
        What outcome are you trying to achieve? You say the problem is not pay differentiation, so I assume you are not asking for a raise. Do you just want a more equitable division of the duty? It's hard to advise you without understanding what it is you want.
        I didn't phrase my statement very well originally.

        I do care about the pay difference but only the pay difference between the two classifications. There is a 7K difference between the two positions and that is what I am after. I would also like the job title for my resume.

        My argument(not saying it's legally sound) is that his position is considered exempt and I am doing the exact same job. I have the responsibilities without being classified correctly.
        Last edited by 01grander; 07-22-2015, 11:34 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Employers aren't legally required to classify exempt positions as exempt. They are only required to pay truly non-exempt (as defined by the FLSA) positions in accordance with the law (i.e., at least minimum wage for every worked, and 1.5 times normal rate for hours worked in excess of 40 in any given week). They are also legally required to pay truly exempt (as defined by the FLSA) positions at least $455 per week for full time work.

          Comment


          • #6
            The problem with your argument is that while it is not legal to classify someone as exempt who qualifies as non-exempt, it is legal to classify someone who qualifies as exempt, as non-exempt.

            So while your argument COULD result in your being reclassified as exempt, it could also, just as legally, result in the other guy being classified as non-exempt. Or nothing happening at all.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              cbg and eerelations are correct on the law. The law only cares that people who are not legally exempt receive minimum wage and overtime for over 40 hours/week. But every employee in the company can be paid non-exempt, including the CEO, if that's how the company wants to do it.

              That said, in most cases, you can negotiate your salary and job title, and I think you should. (Keep in mind, since you are working in government, your manager may be very limited on what they can do for you, more than they would be in a private company. There may be a set pay rate for each job he has to adhere to, or only one person can hold the Senior title, etc.) But you don't know until you ask. However, the way to do that is NOT to say "I do just as much or more than John and he gets paid more and a better title and that's not fair." What you do is ask your manager for a half hour or so of his time uninterrupted. Practice and prepare what you want to say in advance. Also, define in your own head exactly what you want and what you will take (your floor). Don't be afraid to say a number. Know your market value and insist (in a polite, professional way) on receiving it. Remember-raises are based on four things:

              1) Performance
              2) Promotions or new duties, expansion of your original role.
              3) Professional Accomplishments (ie getting an advanced degree, completing a valuable project, etc.)
              4) Market value (what you could make if you looked for a new job)

              It sounds like your case mostly rests on number 1 and number 2 with a little bit of 4. So, talk about your performance. Talk about the new duties you have been given since your old boss was reassigned and how you haven't received an equitable raise in pay/stature to go along with them. You can bring up market value a little bit, but be prepared to hear that government positions always pay less than the private market (which is true). So keep your conversation mostly focused on your responsibilities and your performance, and your value to the business. But above all, leave the other guy's inadequacies out of it. A good manager will respect an employee who knows their worth. But no manager wants to hear their employee whine about how other people in the organization are paid, that's none of your business.

              Comment


              • #8
                Leave EVERYTHING regarding the other guy out of it. Keep it focused on you, and the value you bring to the company.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ferretrick View Post
                  cbg and eerelations are correct on the law. The law only cares that people who are not legally exempt receive minimum wage and overtime for over 40 hours/week. But every employee in the company can be paid non-exempt, including the CEO, if that's how the company wants to do it.

                  That said, in most cases, you can negotiate your salary and job title, and I think you should. (Keep in mind, since you are working in government, your manager may be very limited on what they can do for you, more than they would be in a private company. There may be a set pay rate for each job he has to adhere to, or only one person can hold the Senior title, etc.) But you don't know until you ask. However, the way to do that is NOT to say "I do just as much or more than John and he gets paid more and a better title and that's not fair." What you do is ask your manager for a half hour or so of his time uninterrupted. Practice and prepare what you want to say in advance. Also, define in your own head exactly what you want and what you will take (your floor). Don't be afraid to say a number. Know your market value and insist (in a polite, professional way) on receiving it. Remember-raises are based on four things:

                  1) Performance
                  2) Promotions or new duties, expansion of your original role.
                  3) Professional Accomplishments (ie getting an advanced degree, completing a valuable project, etc.)
                  4) Market value (what you could make if you looked for a new job)

                  It sounds like your case mostly rests on number 1 and number 2 with a little bit of 4. So, talk about your performance. Talk about the new duties you have been given since your old boss was reassigned and how you haven't received an equitable raise in pay/stature to go along with them. You can bring up market value a little bit, but be prepared to hear that government positions always pay less than the private market (which is true). So keep your conversation mostly focused on your responsibilities and your performance, and your value to the business. But above all, leave the other guy's inadequacies out of it. A good manager will respect an employee who knows their worth. But no manager wants to hear their employee whine about how other people in the organization are paid, that's none of your business.

                  Thanks for all the advice. I'm just getting really worn down at my job and I was looking for something to change. I probably just need to look elsewhere for a job but for the moment, I'm stuck in Montgomery and the job market is horrible.

                  I would advise nobody to work for the State of Alabama. This guy has a G.E.D. and has had drug problems and the 4th guy they fired for absenteeism/drugs managed to get the job that I also applied for at a different department.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since you work in the public sector, I'd say raises based on performance are probably not going to happen. Positions tend to be budgeted rather strictly and pay based on set scales. What you might look into is having your job reclassified based on the actual duties and responsibilities you perform. Look into your agency's regulations and see what procedures might exist to get the position considered for an upgrade. It will not happen based on what the other guy does or does not have and 20 years of experience can make up for a whole lot of time in the classroom.
                    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Something else I'd advise against is actually naming your employer, especially a governmental agency, on a public message board and announcing that they have employees with drug problems.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ferretrick View Post
                        Something else I'd advise against is actually naming your employer, especially a governmental agency, on a public message board and announcing that they have employees with drug problems.
                        I do understand but if my boss wants to ignore a possibly dangerous situation, that is on him. I would consider drugs and an "invitation" to meet him at his house so we could solve our issues a hostile work environment.


                        Thanks for all the help. You guys are very helpful and understanding.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The term, hostile work environment, has a very specific meaning in employment law. What you are describing is not.
                          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What you have is not a hostile work environment:

                            http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-ho...nvironment.htm
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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                            Comment

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