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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11050
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My daughter "received" a raise approximately 12 wks ago. She

Customer Question

my daughter "received" a raise approximately 12 wks ago. She has complained every week her raise has not been on her check. They told her today that they do NOT have to pay the back pay on her raise.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. The rule can be simply stated as this: The rate of pay which the employee reasonably believes they are earning is what they are entitled to receive. Employers can change the rate of pay at any time provided the employee is given notice of the change. Based on what you've described, your daughter was notified of a raise approximately 12 weeks ago. So, for that first pay period she was certainly under the reasonable impression that she was getting paid at that higher rate. What becomes less clear is whether the paycheck she then received which still reflected the lower rate of pay constituted "notice" that she was not in fact being paid at the higher rate. Since employers can change the rate of pay at any time upon notice, if it did constitute "notice" then your daughter would not be entitled to the higher rate of pay from that date onward. But if her employer gave her the impression that this was just some sort of payroll processing error and that she was still in fact getting paid at the higher rate, the paycheck reflecting the lower rate on its own would not constitute notice. Ultimately, it comes down to what a reasonable person would have believed. Would a reasonable person have seen the paycheck reflecting the lower rate of pay and assumed that the raise was never approved? Or would a reasonable person have disregarded this and concluded that it was a processing error? That factual question would be appropriately resolved via a lawsuit or wage claim. To summarize, the first pay period typically must be paid at the higher rate because until that first paycheck was received your daughter was not on "notice" that she was still getting paid at the lower rate. Whether the next several pay periods must be paid at the higher rate depends on whether the first paycheck at the lower rate, plus any representations made by the employer, collectively constituted adequate "notice" that the lower rate of pay was what was going to be paid. I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She had been every week that her manager would check into it. Recently there was a mandatory meeting and she brought it up in front of everyone to the Head Supervisor and he was upset as he "had not been told there was a problem" by her manager. Where do you file a wage claim?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Also, can she quit this job and look for another and file unemployment on them for not paying her her raise?
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
This is the form for filing a wage claim. It certainly seems as though there are facts she can use to argue that she was never put on notice that she was going to continue being paid at the lower rate. Quitting generally results in disqualification from benefits and it is almost never wise to quit in anticipation of collecting benefits. Technically, it's possible to quit and collect benefits if you can prove that you quit for reasons amounting to "good cause," but a dispute over when a raise took effect probably would not rise to that level. In any case, it makes far more sense to continue working and only quit once a new job offer has been secured, given that it is far easier to find employment when you are already employed (studies have confirmed this). I hope this clarifies things. Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.Very best wishes.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Was there anything else I can do for you?