Am I entitled to back pay?
Question Details: My company was bought out 3 years ago. They have a pay scale that pays more to people with a bachelor's degree. I have a bachelors degree. I just found out from my immediate supervisor that the company has been mistakenly paying me the rate of someone without a BS degree and plan to raise my hourly pay rate eventually. However, when they bought the company they made us fill out job applications and it clearly stated my degree. They say they'll raise my rate now to what it should be but it should have been higher all along.
No, you are not, unless you had an actual written employment contract for a defined or set time (e.g. a one-year contract) which is still in effect (e.g. not expired) and guaranteed you the pay as of a certain date. If you had such a contract, you can sue for any/all back pay you should have received from that date forward. However, without a written employment contract as described, any raises are purely voluntary; even if they normally give them under certain circumstances, that is their choice, and they do not have to do so. Therefore, since they did not have to give you a raise, you cannot force them to retroactiely do so. Only a written contract guarantees or requires raises.