Is it legal for an employer not to give you a promised raise?

I was approved for an raise 11 months ago but did not receive it. At that time, I spoke to my director’s supervisor who approved me for a promotion. I got it 2 months later with the promise of an increase. I have frequently asked my Director about my salary and he showed me paperwork that he signed off on, for the first increase. I reached out to the company’s RVP’s and SVP and finally got an answer of

Asked on September 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had a contract of some sort regarding this raise or not giving it to you violated the terms of a union/employment contract, then your company was under no obligation to give it. That is unless not foing so constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination. The fact is that raises are generally up to the discretion of an employer, accordingly they can decide to not give one even if they previously stated otherwise. In an "at will" employment arrangment, a business can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. For their part, an employee can either accept not getting a raise, complain and risk termination, or quit.

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