Is it legal for the State of Alabama to pay me less than my subordinates?

I am a new police manager in a large State-owned University, but was appointed because of over 20 years experience in a previous job that I have retired from. Due to the way the University has handled pay raises in the past, my salary is much lower than present supervisors at my level, and I have several subordinates, even two levels below me, that make more than I do. They do the same work that I do, or have done in the past, and there is no reason for this inequity other than budget management. Is this legal? Should I consult an attorney? How can they do this in the United States?


I assumed (based on my experience in this field) that the pay rate of a second-level supervisor would be, at minimum, above the top rate of a general police officer being supervised, and above the rate of a front line supervisor. It never occurred to me that the State of Alabama or this Mega University would allow an action like this to occur. I was not told the exact pay rate until the moment when the promotion was offered to me. During the thank you, I was distracted. What could I do after weeks of competition for the job, refuse the offer and ruin my rep and future promotional prospects? I am shocked at the manipulative operations of such a prestigious university. Beyond all of the legal reasons that they can do this, isn't it just plain wrong? When did our Universities, States, and employers lose their moral and ethical standards? I ask you, does the shop foreman make more than the CEO? Does a man have to quit his job to have someone stand up for blatant inequity and unfairness?

4 Answers

  • Paul
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I don't know about the State of Alabama but I do know that Federal employees can actually earn more than their supervisors but only in those situations where they earned a greater amount previously and took another job where their pay was retained because they held the position previously for at least a year. There's also a situation where, when subordinates earn more than supervisors because of blue collar scales vs white collar, then there's a supervisory differential which allows the supervisor's pay to be increased (but this wouldn't be the case if the subordinate's pay is greater because of retained pay). I would check with your labor office on what the current rules are.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Why did you accept the job at the offered pay level?

    You say you were retired from a previous job, so what does the University pay rise policy have to do with the salary on a new job you accepted? Are you receiving pension + salary at this time?

    You need to discuss this with your manager and HR to understand why the offer was perceived as equitable.

    Not sure how an attorney would help. Presumably you knew the salary before you accepted the job. Did you ask what the subordinate pay range was? Did you ask what your pay range was and where in the range this offer placed you? Did they lie to you about any of this? Lack of even the smallest of due diligence should have raised questions as to your qualifications for the role.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it is. Your employer is only required to pay you your state's minimum wage which now set at $7.25 per hour. That is it.

    If you are willing to accept that or not, is between you and your employer.

    You are free to quit and find an employer who is willing to pay you a higher wage any time. If you current employer value your services, he will take note.

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  • 1 decade ago

    not certified in law or government related issues.But would assume you can check further into detail on the subject before placing the horse before the carriage.Best to get a lawyer to assist you with this subject.good luck

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