entitled to Retro pay raise?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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entitled to Retro pay raise?

My previous company had to wait for the state budget to get passed before they were able to OK raises. The raise was to originally to go into effect July 1 but the company did not approve the pay raises until Oct. and said the raise was retro. I left the company in mid-August. Am I entitled to funds from a pay raise July 1 through mid-August?

Asked on January 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You only have a right to a retroactive pay raise if you have a written employment agreement which guaranteed you that raise as of a certain date. If you had such a contract and the company did not give you the raise, you could sue for "breach of contract" for the additional money, such as in small claims court.  But without a written contract specifying the raise, all raises (and pay generally) is at the discretion or free choice of the employer: the employer can decide whether to grant you the raise or not, and if so, when. Without a written contract, you do not have a right to the raise as of any given or specific date: you get it if and when the employer wants to give one to you. So without a contract, you have no entitlement to the raise.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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