Thank you for the clarification. First and foremost, a cap in hourly wages is not illegal. There's nothing in either state or federal law that states that a company has to give you a raise, even if you're the top performer, nor how to apportion raises. The only laws that are on the books govern minimum
wages, and how these are paid. There are also laws that govern overtime
, etc... but not actual raises.
In terms of the document that you received regarding your 60 cents vs. 6 cents: this is, most likely, not going to be a legally binding employment contract
. Employment contracts are specific governing documents that state that an employment relationship is protected
for a specific period of time (not just that something will happen in periods between one date and another), and that an employee will only be terminated for cause, and that the wage or salary for that employee will be $X. Here, unless it talks about protection of your job, or that you will be terminated only for cause, or otherwise modifies the at-will employment relationship, you do not have an enforceable contract.
Generally speaking, California is an at-will employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you, move you, demote you, promote you, increase or decrease your wages, at any time and for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...).
The reason that this is not a contract is that it doesn't protect your employment for any specific period of time. It states the time period that the raise is applicable to, but does not guarantee you employment for that time period. Your employer can terminate you tomorrow, and a court will not read this document to mean that you had protected employment until September 2011. Thus there is no contract.
So even though you have a document that says your wage is going to increase 60 cents, and you were told only 6 cents, since you do not have a contract that means that your employer can modify this to their hearts content. They can (literally) even drop your wage to minimum wage
, and there's nothing the state or federal government, or the courts, can do about it. The laws only require that they pay you at least minimum wage.
Now I would talk to the HR department of Wal-Mart, letting them know about this document that says you should get 60 cents rather than 6, but there is nothing that a court or a state or federal agency can do about it.
I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it's the law. I hope that clears things up anyway. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you do click "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!