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[B]Forced into job not in your job description[/B] New Mexico New Mexico

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  • [B]Forced into job not in your job description[/B] New Mexico New Mexico

    In July 2012 I was hired temporarily as data entry with a company, with the understanding that I would be moving into a higher position/raise after a 90 days evaluation. The intention was for me work as data entry, then move into a medical billing medical billing position when they open a new portion of their company. My hiring paperwork states "Data Entry", but I was verbally given the title "Accounts Manager".

    In October 2012 I was told that I had passed their "test", and that they would like to move me into the CFO position. I told them that I was interested in that position, but would require additional training from the current CFO. We were to begin training me on all of the bookkeeping and other financial projects immediately, and we would then give me the promotion in December 2012. So, I began taking on the CFO responsibility. In December 2012, I was told by the owner that we were going to give me a raise/promotion, but due to lack of finances, I would have to wait until after the holidays to receive my promotion/raise (we are in the service industry, so holidays bring in more revenue). We met again in January 2013, where I was again told that they could not afford to give me a raise/promotion, and I needed to wait until March 2013. Now it is June. I have been completing the tasks of CFO for over 8 months now, with no raise or promotion. The previous CFO has moved into an entirely different department, and I am doing EVERYTHING. The only paperwork change that was done was to make me salary and not hourly so they didn't have to pay any more overtime (no raise, no position change, just states "hourly to salary"). I have also taken on HR responsibilities, as the HR/Director of Operations quit at the beginning of the year. As you can imagine, I have taken on a ton of responsibility and stress, all while under the hiring of "Data Entry". The job from "Data Entry" to "CFO" is quite a stretch.

    On top of this all, the business owner has made quite a few "unethical" decisions with company money that I would prefer to not be involved in, and my integrity is one of the most important things I own.

    What rights do I have?

  • #2
    From what you have described, you have no "rights" other than the right to quit your job. You never said there was a current promotion or raise, only a promise that one was coming at a future date, which kept getting postponed. If the owner had said in December, for example, that your salary would be increased by $1,000 a month on January 1 and then told you on February 1 that the raise was not going into effect after you already did the work, you would have a claim for that salary for that month you worked. But in the absence of a binding contract that limits the employer's right, the owner has the right to offer to pay you whatever he chooses (subject to minimum wage and other applicable laws) and you have the right to accept or decline to work on those terms, period. Not only can the employer refuse to increase an employee's salary, he can decrease it prospectively and the employee can either accept the new lower salary or resign.

    There are possible exceptions, such as where an employer intentionally misrepresents facts to induce a person to take some action, but those are viewed extremely narrowly and only apply in rare instances.
    David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
    Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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    • #3
      My concern is not that a raise has not gone through, it is the fact that I feel they duped me in to putting me in a higher position, without having to pay me more. I am technically doing the job of the CFO, have taken on all of her responsibilities, with the promise that they would do the paperwork and give me matching pay which never happened. The old CFO is now in a completely different department, so I really am doing her job. To give you an idea, I am making $14.00/hr. to do a job that the CFO was making $60K a year doing.

      Also, to make things more clear, I am doing a completely different job than what I was initially hired for.
      Last edited by Azucar; 06-02-2013, 08:46 PM.

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      • #4
        I understand but I still say that unless they told you "Your salary is $X," you likely have no rights other than to quit. You can't make an employer pay what you think the job is worth. Perhaps you have some fraudulent inducement argument based on something specific that was said to you, but so far, I don't see it.

        It may not seem fair, but letting courts set salaries would be an even worse idea, in my opinion. The employer pays what it thinks the job is worth and the employee has the freedom to vote with his feet. No employer can force an employee to work for an unfair wage, so if the employer sets the pay too low, he will have no takers.
        David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
        Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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        • #5
          Ok.. thank you so much for taking the time to answer!

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