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Fairness with Promotion

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What is the name of your state? Wisconsin

I work for a company that classifies salary positions (exempt & non-exempt) according to "Hay Points". Hay Points are related to job responsibility, and consequently wages. The higher the hay point level, the more responsibilty the job has which means higher pay.

For the past year, I have been classified as an Adminstrative Assistant with a Hay Point level of 178. However, 50% of my time has been performing as the HR Administrative Assistant which is rated at a 208 Hay Point level. The current HR Admin only wants to work part time, 20 hours per week. So, I was told that I would be her "back-up" for anything that she could not handle. This has quickly turned into a job share. Over the past year, the HR Manager has asked me several times if I would be interested in the position & eluded to the fact that it would be a promotion. The position was always presented that way to me.

Recently, the management team finally realized that having a part time HR Admin was not working; too many thing were falling through the system. So, they told the current part time HR Admin that she would need to find a new position in the company within 3 months, or be terminated. They then told me that I would be the HR Admin on a full time basis, but refused to give me the promotion to the 208 Hay Point level. The HR Admin position is rated at a 208 level across the entire company nationwide. I was also told that if I refused, I'd be put into surplus & possibly terminated. (I believe this scare tactic was used because I'm a divorced single mother who really needs this position.)

I questioned the HR Manager as to why I would not be receiving the promotion after I'd basically been performing in the position for a year. I have also received an "Exceeds" on my last performance review, which is the highest performance rating that we can achieve. (I was also recently given another raise which basically only brought me to my midpoint at the 172 hay point level, due to my performance. I'm clearly well below the 208 wage range.) He told me that the HR Admin position was rated at a 208 level due to the payroll resonsibilities it covers. He basically would need to see that I can perform the payroll function adequately and planned to promote me in March 2004 & that I need to trust him. At this point, trusting him is ludicrous, he has a definitely integrity issue from my perspective. I'm performing the position now, he's always calling & asking for my help. I'm assisting employees with their payroll questions & helping to resolve their issues. I may not have done a complete payroll cycle, but I'm sure that I can with very little training.

Based on the above information (I'm willing to clarify any points if necessary), I'm curious if there I have any legal recourse. I appreciate any advice or counsel that you can offer. Please be specific with any laws or statutes that may apply so that I can read them for myself. I really feel taken advantage of right now.




Senior Member
The only law or statute that applies is the one that requires employers to pay employees at least minimum wage. That's it. They can pay the CEO minimum wage if they wish to (and they can find someone willing to accept the job at that wage.) Nor are there any laws that require an employer to grant a pay increase unless minimum wage increases.

I can appreciate that you don't think your situation is fair but waiting to give someone an increase until after they've performed the new job for a period of time is not uncommon. I can see no reason why your employer would use this decision as a scare tactic. They wouldn't have offered you the job in the first place if they didn't want you in the position. I think you've jumped to a lot of conclusions on that score.

Your options are (1) to be patient, accept the position and do it well, and anticipate a pay increase in March, (2) stay in the job you're in, or (3) look for a new job elsewhere. Since you don't respect your new boss and appear to be entering into this new job with a major chip on your shoulder, the odds are this new job isn't going to work out very well for you.


I'm a Northern Girl
The Hay points (and I'm familiar with them) are meaningless as regards exempt/non-exempt status. What matters are your job duties. If you qualify for an exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act definitions, they MAY (they are not required to) classify you as exempt. If you do not qualify for an exemption under the FLSA definitions, they MAY NOT (they have no choice in the matter) classify you as an exempt. What the Hay point score is means nothing. Hay points refer to compensation - if they are tying exempt and non-exempt status solely to Hay points, they have probably got some misclassified employees in there.

Unless they are refusing to make this a promotion BECAUSE OF your race, religion, national origin, gender, disability, pregnancy, or because you are over 40 (in your state you may add arrest/conviction record, genetic testing, marital status, military reserve status, sexual orientation, and use/non-use of lawful products outside work i.e. smoking to this list) then you do not have any legal recourse. They are under no obligation to make this a promotion no matter how many times it was presented that way to you in the past.

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