Is it legal for a company to promise me a raise in pay but 9 months later I have still not receivedityet have the new responsibilities?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it legal for a company to promise me a raise in pay but 9 months later I have still not receivedityet have the new responsibilities?

I was promised a raise but when I asked about it my manager stated that it was on hold because of the yearly review process, however he would try to make the raise retroactive. Every few months I would ask about the raise and my manager would have more excuses. Now 9 months later my manager tells me that they can’t make my raise retroactive but will try double my raise. Is this legal?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it probably is legal. First, it's important to bear in mind that employers have enormous discretion as to definining jobs and compensation--they can give raises, reduce pay, demote, promote, etc. all essentially at will.

If there is an enforceable agreement, that would limit their discretion; the agreement would be enforceable as per its terms. However, the critical issue is whether this is an enforceable agreement. For an agreement to be enforceable--and not to be merely an unenforceable promise--there must be "consideration" on both sides; that is, each  party must either give something to the other party, or give up something to which it was entitled. If on the strength of this promise, you gave up some other job oppportuntiy of which your employer was aware, that could be enough to make the promise binding; but if you did not give up anything, pay anything, forego anything, etc. then there is most likely no enforceable agreement.  Instead, it was a mere promise, which the employer may break or modify at will.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption