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The Almighty Buck

On Obtaining Appropriate Compensation... 184

Posted by Cliff
from the getting-paid-(close-to-)what-you're-worth dept.
wpc4 asks: "I've been working at my current place of employment in California for going on 2.5 years. I work for a rather big HMO providing IT support for over 2000 users. In my time there I have had no negative feedback, I am the "go to" for the department, I have improved our service area's image to other IT departments in our organization, had one promotion, and so forth. I am currently making over $5k less than the minimum for my title, while some new employees just got hired with the same title and lesser skills as myself and were hired on at over 30% more than I make, yet I have 2.5 years of seniority. Since I'm not union I don't appear to have any way of trying to get myself compensated appropriately, is there anything in the California labor laws that I can pull into play? Any suggestions at all before I look for other employment?"
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On Obtaining Appropriate Compensation...

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  • by Murdock037 (469526) <tristranthorn.hotmail@com> on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:33PM (#6410532)
    ...have you tried asking?

    The points you make are all reasonable. If you're genuinely as useful as you claim, management would certainly be receptive, especially in light of the discrepancy between your salary and that of the new hires (which they may simply not realize until you point it out). This could very well end up being a non-issue for you.

    And don't threaten to quit on your initial approach, if you do ask. Most of my bosses have never responded well to confrontational employees, if they weren't given the chance to right a wrong in the first place.
    • by Otter (3800) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:40PM (#6410590) Journal
      Hmmm, the first four responses are: ask for a raise, sue, threaten to quit, and quit if you're a white male. A 25% rate of socially functional responses seems about par for the course.

      Absolutely -- before getting a lawyer (which won't help) or threatening to walk, ask. It's extremely unlikely anything worse will happen than them saying no, and if you're doing a good job and making below minimum for your title, you're in a relatively good position.

    • by wowbagger (69688) * on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:08PM (#6410794) Homepage Journal
      Yes, by all means - ask for a raise. Document the items you asserted in your posting here, then go see your boss and ask him to explain why you are not compensated.

      But has others have said, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you say anything like "or else I walk". NEVER.

      HOWEVER, you should begin preparing a backup strategy - update your resumee and start looking at other jobs in the area. Begin asking yourself if you are willing to relocate. In short, start looking for another job.

      This is for the following reasons:
      1. First, if you have to ASK to be paid what you are worth this time, are you willing to KEEP asking? If they are screwing you now, what makes you think they won't start again later?
      2. You may find that you are misreading your position, and aren't really worth what you think you are (you may be misreading your job title, for example). This would be a bitter pill to swallow, but you should at least grant the possiblility until you can disprove it.
      3. You may find a better job.


      It is far better to start looking NOW, while you are relatively cool about it, than to get so pissed off that one day your mouth acts before your brain. I have a friend who did that - told them "Take this job and shove it" and walked out. He damn near lost his car and home before getting another job, and that was during better times than now!
      • by ivan256 (17499) * on Thursday July 10, 2003 @08:09PM (#6411229)
        But has others have said, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you say anything like "or else I walk". NEVER.

        If you're willing to take the risk, threating to walk is in fact the *most likely* way to get you what you want. I'm not talking about saying anything rude, just politely inform your boss that if you're not going to be paid what you're worth you'll have to consider leaving for a company. It gets the point across and doesn't burn any bridges at the same time. In fact there was a survey done recently that I heard about on BBC newshour where managers said that said this was most likely to result in succes of any method (but was also most likely to get you fired), but I can't seem to find it on their website.

        Don't do this if you absolutly can't live with loosing your job, but if asking nicely doesn't work and you can handle the risk, go for it.

        NEVER say never. :)

        Besides, looking for a job is one of the worst things you can do if are at all interested in keeping your current job. Once you start looking you'll find you mentally "check out" and leaving becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. You shouldn't have to shop around if you are certain that entry level people are being hired into equivalent positions to yours at a higher salary then you have.
        • by wowbagger (69688) * on Thursday July 10, 2003 @08:34PM (#6411377) Homepage Journal
          Threatening to walk is NEVER the right answer.

          Look at it from the boss's perspective - you just had to bribe an employee to stay. Now, how far do you trust that employee?

          Just as I recommended to the employee to have a backup plan, I would recommend to the boss to have a backup plan - namely, start de-emphasising that employee - get them off critical path, get a second employee to be able to cover for them, start looking at how to replace them.

          You are correct in that looking for another job might cause one to mentally commit to leaving, creating a self-forefilling prophecy. So would the boss's logical reaction: he is going to become able to replace the employee, and may very well do so.

          If you have to threaten to quit in order to get your raise, you don't want to be working there.

          Most bosses are clueful enough to realize that if an employee is asking about their salary, failure to meet the employee's request will result in the employee leaving - you'd have to be pretty stupid to say "Oh, you won't pay me what I'm worth. OK, well, back to my cube I go, dohp-dee-doh." And if your boss IS truly so stupid that he doesn't realise that, then do you want to be working for him?
          • Look at it from the boss's perspective - you just had to bribe an employee to stay.

            That's a pretty silly perspective. "No
            you just had to bribe a candidate to come
            on board." What the hell does that mean?
            "You just had to bribe the pizza delivery
            driver to feed you."
            • Actually, it's not a silly perspective. Being a veteran of many layoffs, I can tell you that some of the first people to go in bad times are the ones that the company had to fork out some bucks to keep in the good times. The company wants loyalty (yeah, I know..."ha ha, what's that"...but they do), and one of the things they look at is whether the people they keep during the bad times are going to be the ones that stay. If someone's already thought of leaving, and they know it, they'll help them out the
          • Threatening to walk is NEVER the right answer.

            Look at it from the boss's perspective - you just had to bribe an employee to stay. Now, how far do you trust that employee?

            It all depends on whether or not you're actually threatening. Giving your boss an ultimatium like "Pay me more or I'm leavin'...bitch!" is never gonna fly...but asking for a raise to "Keep you happy" is a far better way to imply that if you're not compensated fairly, you'll be looking. Unhappy employees tend to not stick around.

          • I'd pretty solidly say that mentioning in the negotiations these points pretty much always works (has always worked for me, until I hit the point where I really am at the top for my current job, and don't really want to move up the management chain):

            - You like your job
            - You like the company on the whole
            - You aren't satisfied with your compensation vs. the work you do and the value you provide to the company
            - You hope this can be worked out
            - If it cannot be worked out, you are considering whether or not you
            • You've clarified your points, let met clarify mine, as I don't really think we disagree that much.

              I don't think saying "Well, OK, so you say I cannot get what I am worth here. OK, then I will have to consider my response to that" is wrong.

              However, DON'T say that if you don't have some fallback plan. Have some offers in hand first.

              If you don't have the offers in hand, don't threaten to quit, in any way.

              If you do have the offers in hand, then you aren't threatening. You are stating a fact.

              So with both of
              • To recap: don't threaten. If you are going to make any statements about leaving, have those offers IN HAND first. Otherwise you are risking a period of unemployment.

                Asside from what I said about pursuing other options first earilier, I don't understand why you thing having offers in hand isn't a threat. Getting other offers first is way more explicit a threat than what I suggested.

                Offers in hand == Threat. You can't bring offers and not threaten.
                • I guess we differ on the definition of "threat".

                  To me, a threat is a statement intended to pressure somebody into doing something they would not otherwise do - "Give me the money or I will quit" is a threat.

                  If you are making a statement about what will happen, without the primary intent being to alter the person's actions, that is not a threat, just a statement of fact. "You do not currently give me adequate money. These guys will. I will work for those who give me adequate money" isn't so much a threat a
            • - You hope this can be worked out
              - If it cannot be worked out, you are considering whether or not you have a future at the company.

              No. "Gee, you won't give me a raise (or the raise I want)? I'm disappointed."

              There, end of statement. You have nothing more to say. If your boss is too slow to figure that there is an implicit "my resume will be updated", then saying it explicitly won't get you anywhere.

              If he can go to his bosses when you give notice for that other job you've been offered that's either

        • never threaten (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MrChuck (14227)
          If you ask and get turned down, get the resume out, quietly and get another job offer.

          THEN, you tell your boss that, while you've enjoyed your run here, you've been made a better offer. Bring some boxes so you can clear out.

          However! this is when your boss, who really stood to lose nothing before, may push harder for you to get a raise rather than losing you.

          This was common practice where I used to work.

          You never hung on up recruiters (always be polite) and keep your resume up to date and take a perio

      • I agree, one should ask for a raise before deciding to leave...

        In my company, it's been directly stated that if anyone has an offer from another company, let your manager know, and "they'll try to match it".

        So..., ask nicely for a raise now, and if you don't get it, or it's not enough, start searching & applying & interviewing (in your spare time, or use some vacation or sick time :P), and if you get an offer you like, ask for a raise again, telling them you have an offer, and then decide what t

        • -In my company, it's been directly stated that if anyone has an offer from another company, let your manager know, and "they'll try to match it".

          Actually what they are saying is 'let us know you betrayed by us by interviewing elsewhere and we will try to convince you to stay (here's a token raise) until that other company fills the position, then we will replace you with a loyal employee and make it harder for you to find a job.'

          If you go out and interview, like the potential of the new position, get an o
      • by Phronesis (175966) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @11:40PM (#6412305)
        The key is that you can look much more appealing to your boss when someone else is chasing you. Your market value is the most someone will pay for you today, so you sometimes need to look around energetically to determine your market value. Once you have established this empirically, you can receive what you're worth (by definition).

        Last year my friend had given up on getting an adequate raise at his current employer (asked many times, received little). He looked around and got a firm job offer from another outfit, went to his boss and asked whether the boss wanted to make a counter offer, and the boss gave a raise on the spot more than twice the raise my friend had imagined he could get. He turned down the other offer, stayed with his old outfit, and is much more happily (and gainfully) employed, and has a better relationship with his boss.

        The key to this is that he would have been very happy to take the other job too, so this was not a bluff, nor a negotiation in bad faith.

        Another friend received the following advice from his boss:

        We don't have enough money to pay everyone what they're worth, so we pay them the minimum it takes to keep them. Most people grumble but stay put. Substantial raises are reserved for people who do great work AND have other options. If you have a firm competing offer and I can't live without your contributions, I can get authorization to give you a good raise, but otherwise you're pretty much stuck with COLA.
    • by splattertrousers (35245) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:38PM (#6411034) Homepage
      If you ask, I'd recommend keeping it short. Don't go on and on about how great you are, and don't bring up all kinds of comparisons with other people in your company or in other companies.

      I'd aim for a 10 second pitch.
      • by dustpuppy (5260) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @11:18PM (#6412184) Homepage
        I totally disagree - this falls into the 'if they don't already know how good I am, then there is no point me saying anything' mentality.

        Sure, there is no need to have a State of the Union address prepared, but you should be able to prove that you are worth the extra money. The only way you can do that is to provide concrete examples of who you have helped improve service, the bottom line, customer satisfaction or whatever measurement the manager favours.

        Don't assume that your boss knows what you do - half the time they don't. Actaully, half the time may be too generous. How do you expect to sell yourself (and let's not kid ourselves, that is what we are doing when we ask for a pay rise), if we don't do any selling?

        I got a 15% payrise after I:

        showed that compared to the market rates, my pay was below average

        gave three examples of how I had generated additional revenue for the company, increased the efficiency of an area and demonstratably improved customer satisfaction.

        All up, that took about a 1 minute to say.

        • I totally disagree with your total disagreement.

          It all depends on the job. My "first real job" was for a small company. I had written some great software that was doing great things for the company.

          I walked into the big boss's office and told him I wanted a raise. He asked what I was thinking. I told him. He asked if I was worth it. I told him yes (I certanily was). He gave me the raise. The whole dialogue took less than a minute.

          What it boiled down to was this: they really didn't give raises un
          • Sounds like you had a clueless boss :-)

            > He asked if I was worth it. I told him yes (I certanily was). He gave me the raise.

            What kind of manager is that? If he knows what you are worth, why does he need to ask if you are worth it? If he doesn't know if you are worth it, how does asking you for your opinion give him an objective answer? So you've basically been lucky that you had a clueless manager as to how you got your pay rise.

            > They really also didn't know what IT was worth.

            Again you emphasise
            • Just to clear up any misconceptions.

              The boss I asked for the raise started the business.

              He maintained the code back in the 70's.

              At the peak, he employed around 40 people.

              The business routinely had profits in excess of 80% of the gross.

              He kept the business running for more than 20 years before selling it.

              He asked if I was worth it. I told him yes (I certanily was). He gave me the raise.

              What kind of manager is that? If he knows what you are worth, why does he need to ask if you are worth it?

              One
              • Outstanding managers certainly should know their staff and in an ideal world would not need to ask for proof that you deserve a payrise.

                But:

                * How many outstanding managers are there is this world? (don't translate one lucky experience into 'this will work for everyone' advice)

                * outstanding managers can be forgetful, distracted by other issues, have other pressures on them (eg cost cutting) - are you going to rely on their memory in the hope of getting pay rise?

                * you are working in a small company where
    • If you're genuinely as useful as you claim, management would certainly be receptive

      It's glib, but anytime you think you're indispensable, stick your hand in a bucket of water and when you pull it out see how big a hole it leaves. [linuxplanet.com]

      Remember that when you walk in to the office.
    • Very good point... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:56PM (#6411146) Homepage Journal
      ...and a reminder that being treated "fairly" is not something you're guaranteed. Everybody finds themselves in this kind of situation now and then, especially at the workplace. Office politics, informal relationships, HR bureaucracy, even simple happenstance -- these all have as much to do with your situation as how well you do your job.

      That being said, I don't think you can assume that management is "receptive", even if you're a good employee. Management does stupid shortsighted things all the time -- that's what keeps Scott Adams in business! This particular situation is probably not due to malice or prejudice, but you really can't rule it out either.

      The very first issue is to answer the question, Why are you being passed over? It might be simple oversight. It might be that somebody just doesn't like you. It might even be for a perfectly good reason you know nothing about.

  • Get some legal advice for your situation. You can usually call an attorney and talk with him/her for 30 min for free. Then ask them if you have a case and whether they think they can win for you. Also, ask if you really have a chance to win some increased compensation and how much they think it would be. Figure out your cost-benefit in all this, and then decide whether or not to proceed.
  • Instead of wading through a million IANAL posts on Slashdot, consult AL.
  • and YANAL. So go find a L.
  • Ask. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afabbro (33948) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:37PM (#6410566) Homepage
    That's it - ask. Bring some data and make your case. If they say no, you can either swallow it or look for a new job.

    There is often a "loyalty penalty" in organizations. Someone who works for many years and gets yearly raises will make less than someone who comes in at market rates. It sucks but it's very common.

  • Go to HR (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mpechner (637217) * on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:44PM (#6410617) Homepage
    If people are earning more take two actions:
    1. Update your resume and get it out there.
    2.Approach your boss and HR about a salary adjustment. Not a raise, a salary adjustment.

    A Salary adjustment is justified by bringing your compensation in line with new hires with the same title and grade.

    A Raise is based on merit and a review.

    Then again, is $200/month after taxes worth raising a stink? I tend to not worry until the discrepancy is closer to 10%.

    Either way, first get the resume out there for a week or two. You will need to see what is happening incase the alternative given by the company is that you will have to wait for your review.

    Just remember, a salary is better than unemployment.

    There is no law to protect you, only company policy. Unless you really want the definition of "at will employment."

    Or to learn how a 1 person layoff comes about.

    • Then again, is $200/month after taxes worth raising a stink?

      Probably worth raising the issue, but not a stink. As someone with a $173 monthly car payment, a $200/mo net increase would be very much worth it.

  • FIRST (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:50PM (#6410664)
    ..."You are lucky to have a job in this economy so shut up and take it" post.

    So let's pipe down and not have to wade through another million of them, hm?
  • by malakai (136531) * on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:55PM (#6410694) Journal
    this:
    Since I'm not union I don't appear to have any way of trying to get myself compensated appropriately, is there anything in the California labor laws that I can pull into play?
    You are a commodity, if you think your more valuable to your company then they currently pay you, negotiate with them. You'll find out real quick. Why do you need laws or some Union to do this for you? Maybe if your inept and just trying to milk your company you need those things. Or if the talent coming into your company was being paid _less_ and was 12 year old nigerian workers... then go looking for laws. But you even state the people being hired now are paid _more_ not less, then you.

    Seniority should mean crap imo. I think this concept of seniority is blown to shreds when the less senior member of a department is more valuable and know more then the senior ranking member.

    Talk about value. You have a value to this company. If you guess that value, and believe you should be paid more then act on it. If you are wrong (over inflated ego) be prepared to be slapped down.

    -Malakai
    • one man has little chance of going through the tedious process of negotiating the work contract.

      that is why unions were formed, to have one united voice with which the unions of the employers can settle the contracts.

      now the question is, why is he not in an union then, didn't seem like a smart move when techies were hot hot hot? the paper workers around here get insane wage for what they do, but they are organized. and know that they make insane amounts of money to the company they work for as well. if th

      • That's a load of crap.

        Anyone can negotiated a work contract, and who says it has to be tedious?

        I've negotiated every single one of mine.

        Unions are organized crime- they exist only to form close shops and force employees to pay a cut of their salary to them for this "service" which they never perform- because they union learns quickly if they lety the company pay them off, they get more money! So the union gets paid off by the company, and the workers pay them as well, and they spend their time talking t
        • wrong. unions were created to keep the employers from fucking over the employees, which they would do if they could get away with it.

          henry ford wouldn't even let his workers talk to each other during a break. it is for reasons like this that unions were formed. Child labor is another example of what a company will do if left unchecked. in the US in the '30s, one child died in the US per day during one of their 18 hour shifts. They weren't even allowed bathroom breaks, but were told to sit over the gra
          • you don't hear of these things nowadays because of labor laws

            Correction: you don't hear of these things nowadays in the US. A little bit of looking outside our borders will show that the fuck the worker mentality is still alive and well in countries that do not have such laws.
          • Yes, some push their weight around too much, but don't judge the entire union workforce based on a couple of corrupt unions

            Can you show me an example of a union that isn't corrupt??
            I haven't seen one. And in the definition of corrupt I am using I include promoting seniority over competance and protecting deadwood.
          • by deanj (519759) on Friday July 11, 2003 @10:44AM (#6414810)
            Unions and union leaders are thugs.

            If a union employee is doing a bad job at work, it's nearly impossible to fire them. They can be incredibly abusive to everyone, and the company can't do a thing about it.

            Before you go spouting off about what you think unions are, you should go work in a car factory for a while as a supervisor. You'll change your tune quickly.
          • by BitGeek (19506) on Saturday July 12, 2003 @08:28PM (#6425620) Homepage

            And Henry Ford paid his workers the highest wages in the country, also without unions.

            Fact of the matter is, a worker who didn't like Henries no-talking rule could go work somewhere else for less money.

            It was a trade off the worker was free to make.

            With unions-- you don't get to make that choice. You get what the union "negotiates" for you, and you don't get to work out a better deal with the employer.

            IF unions really provided a good service, they wouldnt' force people to join the union in order to work there. That they do is all the proof that's necessary that they are fundamentally corrupt.

            Your innocent belief that the union isn't paid off by the company to fuck over its members is sweet, but foolish.

            I'm not unionized, and I don't get fucked over by my employers. I wonder why that is.... according to you, I'm incompetant to negotate my own salary and so I must be getting fucked over and yet I make lots of money-- not $0.65 an hour.

            The reality is, unions are a parasite-- industries that are not unionized pay their employees better.
            • Fact of the matter is, a worker who didn't like Henries no-talking rule could go work somewhere else for less money.

              Fact is, that the no-talking rule was demeaning. Fact is, a man making a living wage (or just above it) will accept a little humiliation (and change it in his mind to make it acceptable) for the extra money.

              Fact is, unions in the U.S. have resulted in a great increase in the standard of living for workers and greatly enlarged the middle class .

              (Please note well: I'm being a bit mockin

          • You may want to consider investing in a good book on basic economics, such as Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy [booksunderreview.com].

            When you raise the prices of something artificially by passing a law, what happens is that less of that thing is purchased.

            The end result in the case of minimum wage laws is that unemployment goes up as people who are only worth less than the minimum wage to an employer can no longer get a job. This mostly negatively affects people new to the work force, teenagers and the working
        • Anyone can negotiate a wage, however average person can't negotiate the _contract_, it's not just about the money. And thug like union heads would get thrown out around here.. And they provide a firm negotiator against the employers 'union'.
  • by zanson (3786) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:59PM (#6410724)
    But the first thing to do is go and talk with your manager. Tell them you like your job but don't feel you are being fairly compensated, etc.

    But, depending on where you work some companies will only do large salary adjustments if you have an offer from somewhere else for them to match/beat. Even if they don't have a policy like this, having an offer from somewhere else gives you leverage for getting a raise.
    • I'd say talking with his manager would be just more wasted time. Sounds like that particular manager doesn't care much, since this underapreciation is going on for a while. Perhaps he needs to speek with someone much higher in the hierarchy, all the way to the person whose signature means salary increase.

      I haven't pulled this out of my ass - I was in a pretty similar situation until few months ago. After many failures to get a decent response, single email to CEO (I would have asked in person but CEO is in

    • "...some companies will only do large salary adjustments if you have an offer from somewhere else for them to match/beat."

      Even though counteroffers are fairly common, most employers feel as if they are getting "robbed" by someone who is exploiting the situation. Their logic is a bit warped, but the perception becomes reality. Future raises will be low end of low, and promotions will go to someone else. After all, "We are paying John Smith too much already. We have others that deserve something as wel
  • I have to ask... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GuyMannDude (574364) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:01PM (#6410746) Journal

    In my time there I have had no negative feedback...

    Yeah, but have you received any positive feedback while you've been there? (I know you mention one promotion your got -- but anything else?) Maybe they think you're just an average employee.

    GMD

    • Do you work in IT?

      Getting no negative feedback is very rare, given that people will complain that you didn't help them find the "any" key fast enough, or that it is your fault the Internet broke.
  • How'd you get there? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:01PM (#6410748) Homepage Journal
    What got you into that position? At what point did you not get what you deserve?

    I ask because I'm in the same boat. I got promoted during a salary freeze. No raise for me, so I'm under the minimum for my title as well.

    I haven't resolved the problem, mainly because my company really is under financial pressure. It's hard to demand a raise when all of management took a 20% paycut so that use peons wouldn't get burned. (I wonder how many of you are hearing a story like that for the first time!)

    However, if my company were to get on its feet again and continue to underpay me, I'd probably start shopping around for a new job. I'd likely play the "I have another offer, raise me or lose me" card. Unfortunately, I wouldn't dare do this without somewhere to go.

    Okay, not a great solution, but I'd like to know how you got into that pickle.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      Perhaps you will feel less put upon if you consider this: management can't fail to notice that you stuck with an undercompensated job. You can encourage them to understand that you're doing so because your in with them for the long haul. The resulting good will may be more valuable to you in the long term than that lost pay is in the short term.
  • by foooo (634898) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:11PM (#6410811) Journal
    I for one am sick of hearing people go on about their job like it's their birthright to have a good job at good pay.

    If your job stinks... look for a better one.

    If your job doesn't pay well... look for a better one.

    Your boss isn't required (nor should be) by law to provide you with cake and also let you eat it.

    The ball is in your court.

    ~foooo
    • If working is a privilege, why do they have to pay me to do it?

      Employing ME is a privilege, not a right - and you have to pay me a fair sum for my time, enough so I don't go and spend my time working for someone else, or (heaven forbid) spend my time doing things for my own benefit, such as spending time with loved ones.

      The ball is not just in my court, it's also in the court of my employer.
      • The ball is not just in my court, it's also in the court of my employer

        Right. Because your and your employer's court are actually the same one. I'd hate working under any other circumstances. Most of us will work for ~40 years, that's a long time to spend in own, isolated court. I'm with you.

  • Why not ask? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gefd (562296) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:30PM (#6410971)
    I'm making the assumption that you haven't already since you don't mention as much in your post. But why don't you ask for appropriate compensation?
    Why resort to leaving or invoking labour laws, why not schedule a meeting with your direct superior and discuss your concerns?
    If that doesn't acheive the desired result, schedule a meeting with the next management level above them. Once you've exausted all of those avenues, then that would be the time to consider taking the actions that you mentioned.
  • by MerlynEmrys67 (583469) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @07:40PM (#6411051)
    Raises vs. being hired in new is a very sticky point. Especially in an up economy people who stay within a company tend to get screwed. For some reasons companies are psycologically unable to pay their people what they are worth vs. hiring in new people for what the market will bear.

    That said, in a down market like we tend to be in now, companies will tend to leave your salary alone and bring in people with lower salaries because that is all it takes to recruit someone into the company.

    In my career, the only time I have gotten BIG increases in salary is when I have changed jobs (most of the time reluctantly, but twice because I wanted too) getting over 50% increases when I leave (vs. getting 5-10% raises for staying). This is the bassis for what I was saying above.

    How do you deal with this. It depends on your faith in your job skills, and the relationship that you have with your management chain. Do you go to your manager and say... Listen, I fell that my job title deserves this pay, please lets work on how to get it together, or if you think he is going out of his way to screw you on pay (many people think this, when all they have to do is really ask, but it is a posibility) then it might be worth looking for another position within the company, or outside the company. I would however not recomend it with todays economy, wait a year or so for tech jobs to pick back up so you aren't faced with the same problem in 3 years

  • Does your employer know that you surf the net and post 'Ask Slashdot' questions while at work. If they do, then I wouldn't ask for a raise. :)
  • by 74Carlton (129842)
    One point I have not seen raised is the question of whether you like what you are doing. Sure, you could jump ship, but on the other hand there are expenses and hassles and risks with going in to a new place. I side with those who say "ask for a salary adjustment," if you are that worried about it. Or perhaps just hint... this worked for me after being under paid for a few years, I got two years of 18 and 20 percent raises. If you are comfortable and respected where you are, that is worth money in my estima
  • by Confessed Geek (514779) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @09:22PM (#6411646)

    I had been working for about 2 years and found out the new position equivelent to my own would be payed more. So I came in to my bosses office with my resume told him i quit and applied for the position.

    We both knew I wasn't really quitting but it made my point and I got a small promotion and new salery a bit above the incomming position.

    I don't recommend the quitting part but applying for the new position might not be a bad idea.
  • by ewhenn (647989) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @09:32PM (#6411686)
    Any suggestions at all before I look for other employment?"

    Take a dump on the coffee room floor.
  • Moo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chacham (981) * on Friday July 11, 2003 @10:16AM (#6414545) Homepage Journal
    Since I'm not union I don't appear to have any way of trying to get myself compensated appropriately

    Of course not, with that attitude.

    The best way is merely to mentione to your employer that you want more money. Mentioned that the less qualified are getting more. It would have worked for me. I was offered a 25% increase in salary for that very reason! I did leave, however, because i felt that they didn't care enough about me, and i found another job where i was more comfortable.

    If you are truly valuable to them, and you ask, as oposed to complain, they will most probably help you.
  • Education? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 11, 2003 @11:53AM (#6415630)
    You didn't mention your educational background. Do you have a college degree? Did the new hires that make more than you have college degrees? Lacking a college degree is often the cause of most salary discrepancies. If you don't have a college degree, it's most likely the thing holding you back. Yeah, it's stupid that a piece of paper can determine your salary more than actual knowledge and skill, but that's the world we live in. Talk to your boss and see if there's a way to get your company to help pay for that degree and earn that salary increase.

    If you do have a degree, then you need to do some work. As many have suggested, sit down with the management, explain your position, and flat out ask them why you are being paid less. Prepare a resume of sorts that describes all of the ways you have contributed and improved things for your company. Any statistics and dollar figures you can use are the best ways to do this. Management likes to see cold hard numbers and dollar signs showing you saved money and increased efficiency. Make it as clear and objective as you can. If they refuse to look into the discrepancy, start looking for someplace else to work... and let them know you will be doing so.

    Good luck!
  • I was working as phone tech support for an isp. Obviously, this was less than thrilling, so I applied for more challenging, and better paying work when I felt I was qualified. After successfully interviewing for an admin job, I informed my boss [during my 1yr review] that I was giving my 2 week notice.

    He asked if there was anything the company could do to keep me, and offered a 25% raise.

    Just a little tidbit of experience to help you decide.

    [and for those interested, I declined and took the admin job whi
  • HOWTO negotiate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aelvin (265451) on Friday July 11, 2003 @06:34PM (#6420256)
    Before you do anything, read Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In [amazon.com].

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