My Boss Made Me Post This

My company watched me rebuild the team and successfully manage it through acquisitions. Recently, I was promoted to the position of Senior Director. I used to manage relatively newcomers in my field. Currently, I manage senior managers. Weeks went by and I still hadn’t received a formal letter of offer or a discussion of a raise. However, I have discussed transferring my responsibilities and taking over new responsibilities immediately.

Almost two months later, I received a formal offer, but no increase in salary, bonus or deferment plan. I expressed my frustration to my direct manager and HR, but was told that the raise would not be discussed until next year. I asked my boss to bring this back to the CEO and CFO. I have not signed the offer letter yet. I get a decent salary and decent benefits, but it’s well below my market value. I am also considering buying a house. Will you keep pressing, will you leave it unsigned, will you be completely scorched, will you rage like there is no tomorrow?

— Anonymous, New York

In an ideal world, every promotion would come with a pay raise, but we don’t live in an ideal world. This is an uncomfortable situation and you have the right to be uncomfortable. As responsibilities increase and new titles are given, compensation should also increase, but employers can hardly enforce it if they don’t want it.

You have to decide how to proceed. I don’t know how productive it would be to push the issue even if they made it clear that no plans for a raise were being considered at this time. Articulating how you restructured your team and managed the acquisition builds a strong case, but they’re probably aware.

Perseverance is a virtue until it is no longer. Do you wait until next year for a possible raise? Do you love your job enough to sign a letter of offer and see what happens? Are you mad enough to find a new job? If you can’t stand this, apply for a position that offers you the compensation and professional attention you deserve, of course. I wish you luck.

I am the longest serving employee of the company. I helped build the organization from scratch. Many years ago I decided to work part-time due to my disability. I also got special permission to work remotely. After the pandemic, our entire company went remote. Recently, there has been a move to shorten the workweek for morale and work-life balance. All full-time employees are now paid full-time salaries, but only work 30 hours or so, and projects are allocated in line with this new philosophy.

No raises, no change in working hours. I love my job and I love my co-workers, but I can’t stand the pay gap. For example, a junior colleague currently makes about $20,000 more a year than I do, even though I do the same amount of work. We don’t have an HR department, so I complained to my boss about the imbalance. She agreed that it wasn’t right either. She said the company can’t afford to fix it at the moment, but will consider doing so next year. This was a massive oversight with very real consequences. I just got pregnant and obviously money is more important now. Is this ethical? Is this legal? How can I settle a grudge to stay?

– Anonymous

Ethics is one of the most frequently asked questions for this column. People in exploitative work situations want validation that something horrible and unethical is going on. I assure you that this is not ethical. It’s not fair at all either. Your boss acknowledges how unfair this imbalance is, which is symbolic, but doesn’t solve a significant pay gap.

If your employer can afford to pay everyone else in your organization full-time salary for a 30-hour work week, they can also afford to pay you full-time salary for a 30-hour work week. I have. Why is other people’s morale important and yours not? There is no excuse for this. They shouldn’t take a grudge against you for continuing to do something this bad. You may have legal recourse even on the basis of disability alone, so consult an employment attorney with expertise in disability law. I hope your employer corrects this mistake soon.

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