What can I do if my employer has not given me an agreed upon raise?

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What can I do if my employer has not given me an agreed upon raise?

I was working for a company and my foreman told me that if I went out of state to work, the company supervisor told him the company would give me a raise. However, he could only give me a dollar raise. I told him that I would like more but I would accept the dollar raise. He said, “OK I will get your paperwork ready and send it to the supervisor there”, so I traveled and worked for 8-9 mounts but they have never given me my raise.

Asked on June 16, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them for the raise (i.e. for the back money you would have received; and to get the raise going forward) based on two different possible grounds:

1) Breach of contract--even if it was an oral or verbal agreement, not written, if there was a contract or agreement between you (e.g. you'ld go out of state to work; they'd give you the raise) and you fulfilled your part, they have to fulfill their part.

2) Promissory estoppel: they promissed you something (a raise) if you did something to your detriment (have to travel and go out of state to work) and they did so knowing you'd have to do that thing; it was reasonable for you to rely on the promise; you did the thing to your detriment; and they broke their promise. If all these criteria are met, that is sometimes enough to enforce a promise in a court of law.

As stated, you'd have to sue to get them to honor their obligations, and suing your employer is not done lightly; nonetheless, based on what you write, you do appear to have some rights in this case.


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