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Not being compensated for working position at higher pay grade in hospital.

Hi there,

A number of us (nurse's aides) at a Boston area hospital are being forced to work in a psychiatric unit within our hospital, due to a shortage of nurse's aides on that unit. However, we are not being paid the same salary as aides would earn if hired to work on that floor (a three dollar difference an hour), despite doing the same work. We were wondering if this was legal, as it seems as if we are being deliberately scheduled to work on that floor but being denied the rightful hourly salary, which I am also am worried is being circumvented due to the fact that we are technically considered "floats" (aides floated to a certain floor due to a shortage) as opposed to hirees.

Thank you ahead of time for any input!

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Submitted Mon, 08/14/2017 - 09:55

Legally, your employer is not required to do anything more than pay you at least minimum wage, pay for all hours actually worked, and pay you overtime if applicable. The employer can legally require you to change your duties and require more of you at any time without any requirement to pay more. There is also no legal requirement to pay everyone the same for doing the same job. Because of this there's no legal "right" to the higher salary for doing the other job.

If you are covered by any kind of collective bargaining agreement, it may be a violation of that, and you should complain to a union rep, but there's no help for you in employment law for being treated unfairly in this kind of way. The only legal remedy when an employer treats you in an unfair (but otherwise legal) way, is to quit.

Atty. David Owens
Grolman LLP

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