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If you're thinking about promising raises to a few of your favorite employees, but you're not totally sure that you can actually deliver on them, get ready to face potential legal liability.
Employers should be careful about making promises of a raise because that promise may ultimately be an enforceable term of the employment contract.
All kinds of statements you and supervisors make, orally and in writing, can be considered contractual statements. It could be a promise of a raise mentioned in a hallway conversation, a statement in an employee handbook, or even a line on an employee's application form.
Employers should be extra cautious about making "promises" through:
Above all, train officers, supervisors, and managers on proper communication. Make it clear to them that making promises -- explicit or implied -- to an employee without proper approval could expose the company to liability for potential breach of contract.
For extra guidance on the do's and don'ts of making promises, consult an experienced employment lawyer.
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Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.