Am I entitled to back pay?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Am I entitled to back pay?

My company was bought out 3 years ago. They
have a pay scale that pays more to people with
a bachelors degree. I have a bachelors degree.
I just found out from my immediate supervisor
that the company has been mistakenly paying
me the rate of someone without a BS degree
and plan to raise my hourly pay rate
eventually. However when they bought the
company they made us fill out job applications
and it clearly stated my degree. They say
theyll raise my rate now to what it should be
but it should have been higher all along.

Asked on August 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not, unless you had an actual written employment contract for a defined or set time (e.g. a one-year contract) which is still in effect (e.g. not expired) and guaranteed you the pay as of a certain date. If you had such a contract, you can sue for any/all back pay you should have received from that date forward. However, without a written employment contract as described, any raises are purely voluntary; even if they normally give them under certain circumstances, that is their choice, and they do not have to do so. Therefore, since they did not have to give you a raise, you cannot force them to retroactiely do so. Only a written contract guarantees or requires raises.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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