If you are promoted but don’t receive the promised raise until a year later, are you entitled tothe increase retroactively?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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If you are promoted but don’t receive the promised raise until a year later, are you entitled tothe increase retroactively?

I was promoted over a year ago and my first day as acting supervisor I was told there would be an increase in pay to go along with the promotion (a $3.50 an hour increase). I was just told that my increase will now be effective this next pay period but I was told that I will not be receiving retro pay for the 13 months that I worked as a supervisor. Do I have a valid grievance even though I am considered a temporary employee?

Asked on August 4, 2011 Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether or not there was an actual agreement that you would receive the pay, or merely a promise or an expectation. In this case, it is *probably* just a promise or an expectation. For there to be an enforceable agreement--basically a contract--each party must either give up or promise something to the other. So, for example, if you left a different job to take this one, then the act of giving up the other job would be the "consideration" that obligated the employer to pay you what they'd promised. But since you were already working here and receive a promotion without giving any consideration in exchange for it, the statement that you'd get a raise would likely be an unenforceable promise.

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