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I was given a raise 6 weeks ago, but the raise has never taken effect and I keep being ignored by management. What should I do?

Lake Forest, CA |

I was offered a promotion and a raise on January 3rd . I accepted , and began operating in the position immediately . I have since received 3 pay checks covering the periods I have operated in this new position , and each one has been paid as per my old pay rate . I have been raising the issue with my employer for over a month , and they have still not paid me the owed back pay or corrected the pay rate . I am employed by Game stop in California .

I should also state that I do have a written acknowledgement of the pay raise I was promised from my employer.

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Attorney answers 3


If you received a promotion that was promised to be paid at a higher rate, it sounds as though you have an enforceable contract, provable with documentation verifying the agreed to new rate. The question, then, is what do you wish to do about it. You could hire an attorney to make a written demand. You could even take the company to court or to the Labor Commission to enforce the contract. But you have to know this will sour your relationship with your management. It is illegal for an employer to fire an employee who complains about not being paid correctly. But that does not always deter managers from looking for ways to retaliate.

If I were you I would continue trying to get the company to honor its agreement, in a low key, professional manner. If it appears they are just not going to pay you what you were supposed to be paid for your new responsibilities, then see a lawyer to discuss what you next step should be. Make sure you keep all documentation relating to this in a safe place away from work.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.


I concur with my colleague and would add that if you have what you deem to be a good job, other than this issue, I would be cautious about jeopardizing it . When you have pressed your employer, have they given you a reason for the delay? Maybe you could come to some arrangement regarding the effective date if they have a bona fide business reason for the delay. Otherwise, I would remain professional and search elsewhere for an employer that you trust. But remember, it is always easier to find a job when you have a job.
I would seek legal counsel as a last resort if the stakes are high and you truly feel wronged.
Good Luck.

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Is the confirmation letter clear about the date the raise was to take effect? If so, and that date has passed, you might want to consult with an attorney with whom you can discuss the details. It makes a difference whether the letter constitutes a valid contract. It probably does, as you began performance (started the new job). This document may conflict with the case law that holds that an employee is deemed to have accepted a rate of pay if the employees continues working for that rate of pay.

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

By the way, please do not mention the name of your employer or any other identifying information here on Avvo. This is a public web site and anyone, including your employer, has access to everything posted.

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***

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