Is it legal for my employer to withhold compensation?

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Is it legal for my employer to withhold compensation?

I am an exempt full-time employee at a proprietary school. I have a signed contract of employment wherein my job title, duties, and compensation are stated and defined. Recently I was asked to step outside my defined position title and duties and teach a course. I was told when I agreed that I would be paid for said teaching assignment. I have completed the assignment and now my employers are refusing to pay me. I should also note that on my job description, listed under duties, reads “other duties as assigned.”

Asked on July 20, 2011 Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no single answer, since it depends on your exact situation. Generally speaking, a salaried employee may be asked to do additional work (e.g. extra hours) or different work (e.g. new duties) without being paid anything for it. Similarly, the language you describe from your job description, "other duties as assigned," would tend to support that no additional pay is required. That said, an agreement, including an oral agreement, to provide additional compensation in exchange for doing certain work is enforceable. If you feel that there was a firm agreement to pay you more for the extra teaching assignment, you should consult with an employment lawyer, who can evaluate the circumstances and the agreement and advise you as to any possible recourse. Good luck.


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