What is an employee’s right to a raise?

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2012

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UPDATED: Jan 26, 2012Fact Checked

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What is an employee’s right to a raise?

My company merged with a company in another state; my I.T. position was grandfathered in. The existing position requires a degree that I do not have. Though I have technical certifications and do the work of someone with this qualification, I am not eligible for anyraises or promotions. I believe this is unfair as an employee of 15 years. If they grandfathered me into the position and my job performance is consistent, don’t I have a right to raises?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there is no right to raises--ever--unless you have a contract which guarantees them. Otherwise, an employer is free to set employee compensation, including whether to give raises or not. Not only is your employer not obligated to give you raises, they could elect to reduce your pay if they chose.

On the other hand, if you do have an employment contract which provides for raises, its terms may be enforced.

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