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Our company recently instituted across the board pay cuts that affected all employees but one. The manager of the lone employee felt that the employee’s compensation should not be reduced because the employee “had been promised a raise after 90 of employment”. Could this be discriminatory? There was no clause in the employee’s offer letter and the increase was not in the budget. There were no increases in the budget because pay increase have been frozen since the first of the year.
Asked on June 3, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia
BP, Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 12 years ago | Contributor
The chances for discrimination in this situation are slim as the pay cuts were instituted across the board. However, if the lone employee was promised an increase after 90 days of employment, that promise could be binding, even if it was made verbally. Unfortunately, it sounds as though the lone employee's manager made that promise after the company decided to freeze all pay increases, so the company's Human Resources Department would likely have to intervene.
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