What are my legal options in my current job situation with my pay.

I am currently working a national fast food chain. I am in the system as a shift supervisor and full-time. They decided to promote me before my general manager went on maternity leave 4 months ago. I was told that being a shift supervisor, I would get paid $10.50 per hour. I was running shifts by myself with no other manager on duty for the last 3 months. I am still on receiving $8.44 per hour and the date kept getting pushed back on when I’d receive the raise. Due to only being paid minimum wage, I needed to get a second job and told the general manager that I will be working overnight somewhere temporarily, so I only could work mornings and now only have 1 day on the schedule for the week. I was offered a day from another shift supervisor this week and it was declined by the general manager they never declined a request before normally. Do I have any rights and, if so, what are they?

Asked on March 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Without a written employment contract, as oppossed to a mere conversation, your employer was under no obligation to give you a raise. So unless this action in some way constitutes a form of legally actionable discrimination or violates the terms of a union agreement, you have no claim. The fact is that most employment is "at will", which means that an employer can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is, you do not have any rights unless the "promise" was put into a written contract for a definite term or period of time (such as a one-year contract). When there is no contract, employment is employment at will; the employer may change--or not change--your compensation at will, so they could delay giving you a promised raise, refuse to give you the raise at all, etc. It is entirely up to the employer when there is no written employment contract.

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