Can my boss delay a promised raise?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I’m a 24-year-old female, and I work in clothing retail, (I’ve worked in retail since I was 16). I’ve been at [a large chain store] for 4 years. My question is this: Every 6 months the company “grants'” us an evaluation of our work/ethic(s) for a raise in hourly wage. However, the evaluation date(s) should be the date I started (July 1st) and 6 months from that.

These two dates should be my current dates for evaluation yearly, but they are not and have not been since my second year working. When I questioned my store manager… about why my evaluations no longer seemed to match my evaluation dates, I was informed that it takes up to three months for the HR department to implement my raise.

And when my new rate becomes effective, the evaluation date starts over from the date HR puts my raise through. So for example, let’s say I get a raise in July, it won’t be processed till late September or early-ish October, and my evaluation date will be moved to match the date my new scale begins. I don’t think this is right. Shouldn’t I get back pay? Is this legal?

To read the answer click here: Can my boss delay a promised raise?

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4 thoughts on “Can my boss delay a promised raise?

  1. One has to remember that HR is not always, or often, responsible for payroll, or the entering of information into the payroll system. The actual processing of payroll is frequently an accounting function, not an HR function. While it still seems that 3 months is an inordinate amount of time for raises to be processed, this could be part of the reason. HR may have to review and process the performance evaluation and either apply the appropriate raise associated with the evaluation (if there’s a standard raise applied to specific scores) or review the manager’s recommendation for the raise. After that, the whole mess might have to be approved by a higher level manager, and then turned over to payroll. In a very large company, that may actually take some time. It goes beyond simply entering the change into the computer system.

    Having said that, I would agree it’s a bit unusual to “start the clock” over only when the raise takes effect, rather than to go by the stated schedule of reviews. Without further information, I, too, would assume that the manager in this case is putting forth some excuse to explain his/her failure to put things into process in a timely fashion. Such managers are the bane of my existance.

    1. While I agree with you that the manager’s evaluation is just one step of the process, if he’s saying that it’s HR that needs to enter it rather than it hasn’t yet been approved, it’s a very different thing.

      No one here has any incentive to keep this employee. Therefore, they are not in a hurry to increase her salary and are probably blaming it on each other rather than saying, “we don’t value you.”

      1. So brilliant in its simplicity. I love this final assessment of yours, Evil HR Lady. “Stay, go, whatever.” No one is incentivized to retain this person.

        1. I find it very depressing that I believe this is absolutely the case here.

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