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To Payconcerns ~ thread closed but response warranted

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Antigone*

Senior Member
Currently Working but Don't Know Rate of Pay

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What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

Hello. My fiancee has been looking for a job for almost two years. She was finally offered a job a couple of weeks ago.

Her first day was two Fridays ago (July 8). The company gets paid bi-weekly and the Friday she started was the company's payday. That was two weeks ago. She has since filled out all the required tax information (W4, I9, etc); however, she has yet to receive an official offer letter from the company.

This is a small company and it only has one newly hired Human Resources personnel. My fiancee has made several attempts to find out what her pay rate is and when she will get her first check. The latest email correspondence seems like more of the same runaround.

The position is only part-time and she has really only worked a few days so she is not expecting much in the way of a first paycheck. However, this position is in the exact field she wants to ultimately make a career and she is worried that causing too much of a wave may hurt her chances of advancement.

Here are our concerns:
- Is it "legal" for a company to either withhold or simply not disclose the pay rate?
- What else can my fiancee do beside continually asking for either the offer letter or simply her rate of pay?
- Does my fiancee have any legal recourse should she be fired for continually asking for her pay rate? (I believe PA is an "at-will" state but does that apply)
- If she quits this position because of this situation, can this company tarnish her credibility in some way...ultimately hurting her chances of getting another job in the same field?

We appreciate any information provided.



#2 Today, 03:09 PM
Antigone*of*Greece
Senior Member Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In honor of JetX ~ Somnambulist University
Posts: 14,792

Quote:
Originally Posted by payconcerns
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

Hello. My fiancee has been looking for a job for almost two years. She was finally offered a job a couple of weeks ago.

Her first day was two Fridays ago (July 8). The company gets paid bi-weekly and the Friday she started was the company's payday. That was two weeks ago. She has since filled out all the required tax information (W4, I9, etc); however, she has yet to receive an official offer letter from the company.

This is a small company and it only has one newly hired Human Resources personnel. My fiancee has made several attempts to find out what her pay rate is and when she will get her first check. The latest email correspondence seems like more of the same runaround.

The position is only part-time and she has really only worked a few days so she is not expecting much in the way of a first paycheck. However, this position is in the exact field she wants to ultimately make a career and she is worried that causing too much of a wave may hurt her chances of advancement.

Here are our concerns:
- Is it "legal" for a company to either withhold or simply not disclose the pay rate?
- What else can my fiancee do beside continually asking for either the offer letter or simply her rate of pay?
- Does my fiancee have any legal recourse should she be fired for continually asking for her pay rate? (I believe PA is an "at-will" state but does that apply)
- If she quits this position because of this situation, can this company tarnish her credibility in some way...ultimately hurting her chances of getting another job in the same field?

We appreciate any information provided.

How hard is it to wait until Friday
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#3 Today, 03:23 PM
Zigner
Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 35,204

Quote:
Originally Posted by payconcerns
Here are our concerns:
- Is it "legal" for a company to either withhold or simply not disclose the pay rate?
- What else can my fiancee do beside continually asking for either the offer letter or simply her rate of pay?

That is something people usually ask about BEFORE starting work.

Quote:
- Does my fiancee have any legal recourse should she be fired for continually asking for her pay rate? (I believe PA is an "at-will" state but does that apply)

Nope

Quote:
- If she quits this position because of this situation, can this company tarnish her credibility in some way...ultimately hurting her chances of getting another job in the same field?

Do you mean something along the lines of telling people that she came on and continually pestered HR and then quit for no good reason? Yeah.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pazmania
...before you throw insults & try to impress yourself & your cronies by criticizing my spelling, you should consult your spellcheck first or you end up looking like an even bigger bufoon. My spelling is perfect!



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#4 Today, 03:26 PM
payconcerns
Junior Member Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antigone*of*Greece
How hard is it to wait until Friday

Thanks for your response but I hope you are being facetious. Her concern is not the pay itself. From the interview, she has a pretty good understanding of what she can expect. Her concern is how this situation is being handled

The offer letter, with rate of pay, should have been prepped and ready for her signature either before she started or on the day she started. Of course we could have waited until Friday. Now, what happens if Friday comes and goes and she does not get a check at all? Then what? These are rhetorical questions.

If you have any insight on the original questions, that would be appreciated.


#5 Today, 03:29 PM
Zigner
Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 35,204

Quote:
Originally Posted by payconcerns
Thanks for your response but I hope you are being facetious. Her concern is not the pay itself. From the interview, she has a pretty good understanding of what she can expect. Her concern is how this situation is being handled

The offer letter, with rate of pay, should have been prepped and ready for her signature either before she started or on the day she started. Of course we could have waited until Friday. Now, what happens if Friday comes and goes and she does not get a check at all? Then what? These are rhetorical questions.

If you have any insight on the original questions, that would be appreciated.

Please tell us - what makes you think there is any legal requirement that the employer present an "offer letter"?
__________________
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*
I am not an attorney. Review any information to make an informed decision.

Communication is KEY - 10 mins of talking now can save you months of headaches later!

Gender references shall apply equally to the other gender.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pazmania
...before you throw insults & try to impress yourself & your cronies by criticizing my spelling, you should consult your spellcheck first or you end up looking like an even bigger bufoon. My spelling is perfect!


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#6 Today, 03:33 PM
payconcerns
Junior Member Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigner
That is something people usually ask about BEFORE starting work.

Wow. The sarcasm is thick in this forum. Being out of work for two years, do you really think it wise to state, "I will not start working without an offer letter."?

She was interviewed on July 6 and called on July 7 to start on July 8. Should she have turned the position down because an offer letter was not provided within that 24 hour period?

I really doubt those that have commented thus far would be so flippant if they were in this situation.


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#7 Today, 03:35 PM
payconcerns
Junior Member Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigner
Please tell us - what makes you think there is any legal requirement that the employer present an "offer letter"?



The same thing that made me think turning to this forum was a good idea. I guess you get what you pay for. It's obvious our concerns are not going to be taking seriously here. Good day.
There is nothing to do until she does not get paid, or gets paid below the federal minimum wage ~ AND that won't happen until Friday, right:rolleyes:

If and when that happens she should contact her DOL

I was not being sarcastic. Hello MrFly:eek: (now that was sarcasm).
 
Last edited:

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I agree - while there was a mild dose of sarcasm in my reply, the fact remains that I AM curious why the OP thinks an offer letter is mandated...
 

Antigone*

Senior Member
I agree - while there was a mild dose of sarcasm in my reply, the fact remains that I AM curious why the OP thinks an offer letter is mandated...
Ya know Zigner, you can't always get exactly what you want, especially when you're getting it free.;)
 

Isis1

Senior Member
There is nothing to do until she does not get paid, or gets paid below the federal minimum wage ~ AND that won't happen until Friday, right:rolleyes:

If and when that happens she should contact her DOL

I was not being sarcastic. Hello MrFly:eek: (now that was sarcasm).
yeah, i didn't get the irritation part for him. he didn't have a legal quesiton. there is no law that requires an offer letter. only the minimum wage. not only is there nothing HE can legally do, but his girlfriend's options are limited as well.

either she quits, (which won't look good on her resume) or she waits until she gets her check. very simple.

some people swear they are entitled to made up rights. i had to educate some dumb broads the other day that had the idea that since the constitution says free speech, it means they can speak foul language in a private establishment with no consequences. boy did they find out different.
 

commentator

Senior Member
And if a person who was drawing unemployment benefits applied for and went to work at a job, then quit the job when they found out in two weeks when they received their first paycheck that the pay was not what they had expected, even if it was only minimum wage (and they had formerly been making a very high salary at the job they are drawing benefits from) they would not be considered to have a good job related reason to quit the job and would not be able to be reinstated on their unemployment benefits if they did so.

The actual act of working at the job is considered to be acceptance of the terms and conditions of the job. It was the job seeker's responsibility to make sure this job was acceptable to them before they began it, not afterward.

Because most people do not begin a job without some sort of pretty good idea or clarification on their part of what the pay rate is going to be. But whether they do or not, the employer is by no law required to give a job candidate an offer letter. Some employers have a policy of doing so.

While it wouldn't have been appropriate for her to say, "I will not start working without an offer letter" it would not have been at all unreasonable for her to ask about the pay rate when they said they wanted her to come to work. And if they said they couldn't say right then, to say, "Well, please call me back with that information as soon as possible, as I will then no doubt be ready to begin!"

It sounds as though the new HR person is not really comfortable with responding to your fiance's inquiries. But if her persistence became so aggrivating that they wished to do so, it would be perfectly legal for them to fire her. They don't have to have a good reason. It's an at-will state. Eventually, they would have to pay her, at least minimum wage, for the number of hours she actually worked. If they did not do so, you would contact the Wage and Hour division of your state, or the federal DOL and they will see to it that she is paid for the actual hours worked.

I suspect this will be resolved Friday, when she should get her first check. She quite reasonably may never get an offer letter.
 
Last edited:

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
Just as any FYI to everyone, there are at least two states I can think of off the top of my head where the employer is required by state law to provide a written description of the terms of employment, including pay rate.

PA, however, is not one of those states. And I have had more than enough employees in PA to be able to say with certainty that PA has no such requirement.

The answer to the posters questions are as follows:

Is it "legal" for a company to either withhold or simply not disclose the pay rate? Under Federal law and under the law of most states, including PA, yes.

- What else can my fiancee do beside continually asking for either the offer letter or simply her rate of pay? She can wait until she receives her paycheck.

- Does my fiancee have any legal recourse should she be fired for continually asking for her pay rate? (I believe PA is an "at-will" state but does that apply) No. (Yes.)

- If she quits this position because of this situation, can this company tarnish her credibility in some way...ultimately hurting her chances of getting another job in the same field? The company wouldn't have to "tarnish her credibility". Someone who has been out of work for two years and who quits a job because she couldn't wait for her first paycheck to confirm her rate of pay will have done a dandy job of tarnishing her own credibility.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
Not if the OP is from PA, he's not. The two states in question are SC and NH. :D
 

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