My employer, a chain restaurant in Huntsville, Alabama, promoted me to shift leader where I ran and closed a store for 5-4 months expecting to be paid $10 per hour and was told I would be getting paid for training in the process. Turns out, I was getting paid only $7.25 an hour. I was the lowest paid in the store even amongst the employees I was overseeing.

Once I found out I brought it to my manager's attention as well as the area coach's attention. I had a meeting with the area coach. He verbally assured me that I would receive back pay after I completed the online serve safe course which I did and still wasn't compensated. That area coach resigned and the company says they won't give me back pay because they don't give back pay.

I turned down three jobs due to this recent transition in my life that would have brought in more money for myself and my family because this company said they would pay me. I need some answers on how to handle this. This company already has law suites filed for discrimination and labor settlements. Please help me out here. Thanks. I'm still with the company.

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    Help you with what exactly? Can you sue? Sure. But you need to back up your claim. Witnesses and written statements will help. Ultimately you'll probably lose your job, you may then have a case for wrongful termination. How much money do you have to pay lawyers for this? It is probably better to cut your losses and get a new job, your recovery will be at least half after a lawyer is paid and I can't imagine you'll get more than a couple thousand. – Ron Beyer Nov 19 '19 at 15:58
  • Just as a note to the community, this might be a good wiki subject. Searching "employer false promise" yields quite a lot of questions. – bdb484 Nov 19 '19 at 17:26
  • @bdb484 you should probably research the relevant laws before hand. – Putvi Nov 19 '19 at 18:14
  • Done and done! Thanks. – bdb484 Nov 19 '19 at 22:05

The law requires that your employer pay you the rate agreed or mandated by law. If they have underpaid you in the past they have to back pay you.

In promising you a raise to $10 and pay for the training, your manager or area coach made a commitment that is binding on the company. It doesn't matter if they were authorized by the company to make such an offer, they had aparant authority if it was reasonable for a person in your position to believe they had such authority. Since this came from both your immediate line manager and their manager it is completely reasonable.

You should talk to a lawyer or your union.

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  • This answer is not correct. If any promise by a company constitutes applied authority, he could walk out to the dining room and say free pizza for everyone and the company would be on the hook for it. – Putvi Nov 20 '19 at 21:52
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    @Putvi if it was reasonable for people in the dining room to believe they has that authority (which it is), yes, the company is on the hook for it. Discipline of the manager by the company for exceeding actual authority would no doubt follow. In contrast, it would not be reasonable to believe they had the authority to distribute the contents of the till. – Dale M Nov 20 '19 at 23:58
  • @Putvi ‘s mischaracterization of the concept of apparent authority makes little sense given all the readily accessible resources that plainly indicate his errir. This is not some obscure legal principle. Anyway, it’s worth nothing, at least in the area of agency law, apparent authority status must derive from some action taken by the principal that caused the third party to believe the person had authority. As I mentioned elsewhere, At least in NY, hiring someone as a manager in a company satisfies this requirement. – A.fm. Nov 21 '19 at 18:51
  • @A.fm. yes, you are right that it's not obscure and that those things are tests for it, but it's not like that is something where if any situation fits that is an applied authority case. Those things are tests for the situations where they should be applied, not just if something can be said to fit that then you automatically use that. – Putvi Nov 21 '19 at 19:33
  • @DaleM c'mon that is just blatantly obvious that is not the case. The law is meant to be applied with human reasoning. It's not just a anything that fits these steps is applied authority, it's a tool to be used when reasonable based on case law. – Putvi Nov 21 '19 at 19:37

You would have to find out if the person you were talking to has the authority in the company to authorize a change in your wages or if he or she simply knew what some managers are paid and thought you would get paid that to the best of his/her knowledge.

If the person is authorized to make that decision, then yes you are owed the money.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Dale M Nov 21 '19 at 3:42

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