Do they have to pay me for a promotion that was given to me at work?

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Do they have to pay me for a promotion that was given to me at work?

I was offered a promotiion at work and a $1 an hour increase but after I accepted the job I have not received the pay increase. I brought it to their attention but they said I did not notice it in time so they can not do anything now. Do they have to pay me the offered increase and the back pay?

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

They would only have to pay you the increase (including retroactively) if one of the following applies:

1) There was an actual contract for the raise and promotion; to be a contract, you would have had to have done something which the employer made a condition of getting the raise--e.g. if you accepted a transfer to a different location or shift in exchange for a raise. But without you  having had to do anything for the raise, there would be no enforceable contract.

2) Even if you did not do anything directly for the employer, if you did something else to your detriment or disadvantage in reliance on the promise of the raise, and the employer knew or should have known you'd do that, that could possibly make the promise binding. For example, say that you'd been looking for a different job, and the employer knew that; they offered you a raise to get you to stay, and relying on that raise, you gave up some other job opportunity. That could make the promise enforceable.

Apart from the above, however, your employer may go back on its promise and not give  you the raise.


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