A quick employee review helps with promotions to a salaried position

by on June 2, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Use an employee review pre-promotion to explain why pay is temporarily lower

You know that sometimes workers who advance from hourly to salaried jobs take home less pay at first – even if the bonus structure and benefits improve the overall compensation.

When this happens, consider giving the worker a quick employee review on the apparent pay gap. Here’s a cautionary tale about a company that mishandled such a situation and got mired in a costly legal battle.

An employee review would have avoided bias charges

Geraldine Cole was promoted to manager, but found after the promotion that she took home less money than before. She also wasn’t given a new title with her promotion. Cole, an African-American, resigned and filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit. The court ruled against her, noting that when Cole was promoted, her classification changed from hourly employee to salaried executive.

Because of the bonus structure, in her new role she did take home less in the first quarter – as did other managers, white and black, male and female. Plus, as an executive, she earned valuable benefits to which she hadn’t been entitled before.

The employer also showed that no new titles were officially conferred until after a consolidation. In both cases, no one had ever explained the situation to Cole, so the firm didn’t give itself a chance to orient the worker, and avoid a lawsuit.

Cite: Cole v. The May Department Stores Co., No. 03-4004, 8th Cir., 9/20/04.

Leave a Reply


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.