Is it legal if the effective date of my pay increase is delayed until the end of my maternity leave?

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Is it legal if the effective date of my pay increase is delayed until the end of my maternity leave?

I received a pay increase while I was on maternity leave. In Workday it showed an effective date. However, the payment I received never changed after that date. I asked the vendor that worked with my employer to issue payment and was told their contract with my employer stated any pay increase would be delayed until the end of maternity leave. The payment I received was based on my salary before I went on leave and would never change. I am not really too concerned about the amount of money I might have missed, however I am more concerned about whether there is any discrimination or violation in this process. It just feels weird to me that the written effective pay increase date is not honored simply because I am on maternity leave. My employer is based in Bay Area California with 10000 employees.

Asked on June 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

IF you had an actual written contract which guaranteed you the raise as of a certain date, they'd have to honor the agreement and give you the raise then.
Without an actual written contract, there is no right to a raise--employers never need to give you a raise and if they choose to give a raise, have full discretion to decide when to do so; they can go back on or renege on the timing they asserted earlier. Because there is no right to a raise and it is discretionary, it is legal to elect to delay it until after your leave.


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