Can an employer not pay wage increases while an employee is on intermittant FMLA?

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Can an employer not pay wage increases while an employee is on intermittant FMLA?

My employer does not specify anything about wage increases and intermittant FMLA
in the policies and procedures. I am missing 1 day a month to transport my sister
to cancer appointments in Denver as I am her primary caregiver. My annual wage
increase was in May, however, since I am on FMLA and will be with no end date in
sight, can they delay paying me?

Asked on July 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless not giving you a raise under the circumstances violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, then it is legal. Raises are not mandated by law. The fact is that most work relationships "at will", which means that a company can set the conditons of employment much as it sse fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have a written employment contract guarantying you a wage increase, it is purely up to the employer whether to give you an increase, when to give it to you, and how much to give you: in the absence of a contract, raises are purely discretionary, or voluntary, for the employer and there is no non-contractual right to an increase. So without an enforceable written employment contract, they could delay, reduce, or deny your raise.
If you do have an employment contract, you can enforce whatever it says--and only what it says--about raises; reviewing the terms of the contract to see what your rights are in this situation.


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