I have a particular setup at my job where I work for three months straight, then go to school for three months, then return to work, however, I'm sure this question could be applied to anyone who received an unexpected, unmentioned raise.

When I got my first paycheck, I noticed a small bump in my stated rate. I've been with the company for a year now and have been taking on new activities, but regardless, it was a bit of a surprise. There's no stated policy with the company for yearly raises, or adjusting for inflation or anything like that. I highly, highly doubt it was a mistake, though, so I don't think I'm being paid in error.

My problem is is that I'm not sure whether I should bring attention with it to someone responsible for it. Should I tell my boss "thank you," or does that seem a bit out of place? I have a good relationship with him, but I've never heard of a situation where a raise was neither negotiated with both parties or already listed as a benefit, such as automatic increase for inflation.

I've thought of casually bringing it up, just to make sure it wasn't a mistake, but honestly everything I think of feels awkward.

For what it's worth, I'm also currently an intern, but since our team is so small, I generally get treated like a normal employee.

  • Are you working more hours? Did you have a birthday while you were away? Some countries, when going between 17 and 18 years old for instance, you'll legally be entitled to a new minimum wage. – user34587 May 2 '18 at 15:52
  • No more hours, did have a birthday, but not one that would be notable by law. – Roug May 2 '18 at 19:51

It's perfectly reasonable to say something along the lines of: "Hey, boss. I noticed that my rate is higher than before. Did I get a raise?"

If your boss answers in the affirmative, you should indeed say "Thanks!"

It seems rather odd to me that your boss wouldn't have mentioned it, but it does happen. My wife regularly receives her raises without prior notice or discussion.

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    If you don't check and it was a mistake, you would have to pay back all the money when they catch the mistake. It is in your best interests to ask about it. – HLGEM May 2 '18 at 21:21

At many companies, all interns of a certain type are paid the same rate, with no option for personal negotiation that a full time employees could have. It could just be that the standard rate for interns changed while you were gone for 3 months.

If you really want to know, I would start with HR/payroll to see if this was some common pay update or whether someone specifically requested that your pay be changed. If someone did request that your pay be increased, it would certainly be reasonable to thank that person and tell them you appreciate that they value your efforts.

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    This is my experience too. Or it could be OP has more experience now putting him into a higher "bucket" – enderland May 2 '18 at 16:02
  • I'd definitely think this was more of the case, but my company is very very small. I'm the only intern they've ever had, so I'm sure there's no sort of policy for this prior to me. In addition, there's not really an HR department. – Roug May 2 '18 at 19:49
  • When I was a co-op, my organization had a flat rate based on my class standing (Junior, Senior, etc). I got a pay bump from Junior to Senior. This may have been done automatically based on updated information from OP's school. – jcmack May 2 '18 at 20:50

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