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I work in a warehouse, and in this warehouse different positions get paid differently (obviously) - but something happened to me that I'm really confused about.

So, when I started with this company (a refurbishing company) I started through a temp service (everyone starts through temp and gets hired on after some months) as a product tester for pay rate x. So, fast forward to the point where I am hired on. A few weeks later, I am pulled into the office to discuss being moved departments (to become a computer technician, for pay rate y which is higher than x). It was discussed my new pay would start after 60 days into the position (The wait was supposedly a waiting period for me to decide if I wanted to stay in the position). Anyways, during this 60 days (Maybe halfway through or so) everyone in the warehouse was gathered and told we would all be receiving wage increases (The wage increase for me would have been y+$1.)

However, now several months later, I still have not received this pay raise because I technically did receive a pay raise after the talk of the warehouse raises. The management held off my signing of paperwork until right after the discussions on the wage changes.

All of the temp workers that are starting in the same position are making the new wage y before even being hired on.

Should I try to fight for this $1? I know most of it will be taken with taxes anyways, but I'm having a pretty hard time affording things.

  • Unless you are union or it is below minimum wage they get to set the pay. – paparazzo Feb 11 '16 at 15:58
  • @Frisbee Yes, I understand that, and that wasn't one of my questions. – Grumpy says Reinstate Monica Feb 11 '16 at 16:02
  • Questions 2 and 3 are off topic here. 1 is a great question though – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 11 '16 at 16:02
  • Question 3 "I'm pretty sure what they are doing is legal, but I wanted to be sure?" That was edited out later by another person. – paparazzo Feb 11 '16 at 16:06
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    Most of it will be taken in taxes? Don't forget, salaries tend to compound over the years because most raises are a percentage of current pay. – user8365 Feb 11 '16 at 16:09
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Should I try to fight for this $1?

Are your prepared to leave if they deny the raise? Because chances are they are just going to say no to your first request. If you are not willing to leave then all you are going to do it create conflict between you and your manager which is not going to help you with future raises/evaluations.

Can you afford to be demoted back to your Product Tester role and pay? This could be a real possibility. I have worked for several companies like this where the promise of higher pay with plentiful but actual raise were late or non-existent, and anyone who tried to rock the boat was demoted or fired. I would not be surprised to find that many of your coworkers are also still waiting for their "across the board" raise.

It is even possible that what they have done is not legal and you could be entitled to back pay. But chances are that is not the case, and unless you can afford the attorneys fees, and costs associated with a protracted legal battle over what will probably be far less than the costs, it is probably not worth the hassle.

You might consider talking with some of your peers, especially ones that have been with the company for some time, and finding out if this is their typical MO. If it is you might want to consider forming a Union to protect your collective rights. However never do any of this at work or on the clock. Meet up after work for a drink or dinner and discuss it. If there is support then find a national union and use their guidance on how to proceed. I am not saying you should Unionize, I am saying it is a potential solution if your employer is notorious for using these shady business practices

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