No Automatic Pay Raise: Is that Legal?

Ask Paywizard - Should I have to get automatic pay raises? Paywizard gives an answer.

Question - Date:2009

My girlfriend has been working at the same restaurant doing banquets for the past five years and has never received a raise. We live in San Diego, CA which is an expensive place to live. Is there any type of laws that require an employer to raise wages after a certain amount of time to go along with the increase in the cost of living? If not in the restaurant industry, what about other industries?

Answer Paywizard:

There are companies with cost-of living allowances (COLA) - you can read more about it on Wikipedia. But pay increases are not governed by law. Companies are not required to give increases and have the right to change their mind about an increase. An employee, like your girlfriend has the right to ask for a pay raise, if she feels that she deserves a higher wage. Asking for a pay increase isn't easy. And it's even harder during recession. And there are no guaranteed ways. But Paywizard's general guidelines about how to get a pay raise will increase her chances.

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