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ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16840
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Been employed for Walmart for 15 years... With oustanding reviews

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Been employed for Walmart for 15 years... With oustanding reviews annually. This year on my 15 anniversary I recieved another outstanding review with the written promise of an additional .60 cents added to my hourly rate, but when my check arrived there was a .06 increase added... After confronting personel mgr... She informs me I did not recieve .60 because I had capped out for my position.... How much legal weight does my performance review stating a .60 cent increase signed by all facility mgrs have ???? Is this not a legal contract between employee and employer??? And no there is no public notice of salary caps anywhere to be found ...
Did this written promise indicate a time period that it would be paid over, or that you were guaranteed a length of time of employment?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes it is an annual review with new pay increase begininng pay period 9-5-10 til 9-5-11
Thank you for this information. Have you ever signed anything, or do you have an employee manual or other document that expressly states that your employment is "at-will"?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I did recieve employee Manual in 1995... I have never signed anything about a cap on my salary... Noe was I ever told verbally what the cap on my position was...I'm not sure if the words at will are used on my application in 1995.. have been hourly mgr for 14 years with a annual increased promised yearly ... Til recently of course...
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!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not understanding the whole formallity of signing and acknowledging a performance review/ increase if its not worth the paper its written on???
Without seeing this performance review and increase statement, I cannot say for sure that it is not an employment contract, but I am fairly confident that it is not. The reason is because Wal-Mart is a very smart company and hires a lot of lawyers to go over every inch of their process. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX they would allow something like this to get through. It does Wal-Mart no good to have an employment contract in a situation like this.

Generally, performance reviews are acknowledged and signed for a variety of reasons, but primarily HR reasons. It means that the employee does not dispute any of the findings in the review. That means that if the employee goes back and sues for defamation, etc... then the company can show this and say that the employee agreed. Or if the employee disputes it, HR might do an investigation into the facts. Signing it means they don't have to do the investigation, and the case is closed.

You can bet that they keep ahold of these documents, but that does not mean that these are contracts. Again, if your job is not specifically protected in this document for a certain term, this is most likely not going to be a contract.
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