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We had an employee who stepped in during a two year period and worked as a payroll administrator; however, their compensation remained the same as their present job of payroll clerk. Are they entitled to the difference in compensation? If yes, how soon must we compensate for this difference? We are located in Florida.

Florida has regulations that mirror the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

There is actually no regulation under the FLSA that mandates an employer pays an employee any amount other than minimum wage. Whether the employee is entitled to an increase is not a matter of law but common and ethical practice.

An employee who occasionally performs work tasks normally assigned to a higher paid employee is not necessarily entitled to an increase in pay. However, an employee who is temporarily assigned to or performs the duties of a higher level position should be compensated appropriately. The employee should receive a temporary increase to cover the two year period during which the higher level job responsibilities were performed.

There is no exact timeframe during which the increased compensation must be received. The increased compensation really should’ve started as soon as it was known the employee would be taking over the higher level responsibilities on a regular basis. The effective date is really up to you but, again, it should be the day the employee started performing the new responsibilities.

It’s also important to mention equal employment opportunity laws prohibit the discrimination of employees based on protected characteristics such as gender, pregnancy, disability, age (over 40), national origin, race/color and religion. Assume the previous payroll administrator was a Caucasian male. The payroll clerk who assumed the higher level responsibilities for two years is an African American female. Consider the implications or perceptions of not increasing the clerk’s pay.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 9:04 pm and is filed under
Compensation, Labor Laws.
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