What can I do if my employer made me an offer which was below minimum range for the job but I accepted based on promises made to me about an increases in my salary?

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What can I do if my employer made me an offer which was below minimum range for the job but I accepted based on promises made to me about an increases in my salary?

I accepted with the understanding that manager would get me to minimum including awards and yearly appraisal. However, the raise did not happen. Now company restructured the pay range lower than what I started at. Manager offered to let me go back to my old position which included overtime. Is there any liability on the company to meet what was originally offered as part of the acceptance? The only physical evidence I had was the original intent of offer which showed my offer and the range which I was below. I cannot find this but I know it must have been emailed to my manager at some point.

Asked on May 12, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) You CANNOT be paid less than minimum wage unless you also get tips. If you wer paid less than minimum, you can file a lawsuit or file a complaint with either the state or federal labor department, in order to get the difference between what you had been paid and minimum for the hours/days you worked.

2) IF you left another job or relocated because of their promise, and their promise was reasonable, then you might have a claim based on "promissory estoppel": sometimes, if someone relies to their detriment on a reasonable, believable promise made to get them to do something (like relocate or leave another job), the law will enforce that promise. If you think this may have been the case, speak with an attorney about whether whether you have a claim. But if that's not the case--if you did not do something significant to your detriment in reliance on the promise--then because employment is "employment at will," the company could change your job, pay, etc. at will, regardless of what they said to you previously. Employment at will, unfortunately, is the rule unles you have a written employment contract, and gives employees very few rights.


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