Pocatello, ID asked in Employment Law for Idaho

Q: Can a company have different starting salaries based on age

My daughter was told that the reason she makes less than a new hire (having worked at her job for 3 years) is because she was hired as a HS junior and the new hire was a college freshman, and college students automatically start at a higher wage. She was then reprimanded for discussing salary with other employees and told that compensations must remain completely confidential.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: While this situation seems unfair, as long as your daughter is being paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, then this policy is not unlawful. Employers have a wide degree of discretion regarding employees' pay, and while federal age discrimination laws exist, these laws only protect employees aged 40 or older (in other words, it doesn't protect employees who are being treated unfairly due to being younger than other employees).

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