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On Obtaining Appropriate Compensation...

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the getting-paid-(close-to-)what-you're-worth dept.

The Almighty Buck 184

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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Insert Subject Here, Suckapunks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6410526)

sorry to troll... but it sounds like another person has come to nerd heaven for law advice... if you are getting paid a significant amount less you are probably doing something wrong... maybe you don't have a degree that others have? even gender bias may be to blame...

Tried asking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6410528)

Squeaky wheel gets the grease (or replaced... but if you're going to look elsewhere anyway, shouldn't hurt to ask.)

Re:Tried asking? (1)

trompete (651953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411243)

Before you do something drastic, make sure that you stand above all of the unemployed people in your metro area. There are thousands of skilled IT workers here in the Twin Cities without work (partially due to our new gov. Pawlenty making the government more "efficient" :-P).
A safer alternative would be to get interviews for similar positions at other companies and see what they will offer you. If you don't get offers from other companies, you had better stay where you are cause you're lucky to be working!!

Re:Tried asking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6411445)

Before you do something drastic, make sure that you stand above all of the unemployed people in your metro area. There are thousands of skilled IT workers here in the Twin Cities without work (partially due to our new gov. Pawlenty making the government more "efficient" :-P).
If so many "skilled" workers are unemployed, doesn't that indicate that the definition of "skilled" needs to be revised to account for demand, at least where trade skills are concerned?

Since you didn't mention it... (5, Insightful)

Murdock037 (469526) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410584)

If I had mod points, I'd mod you up.

Seriously, this is the best route to take. Simply inquire about the situation, politly, and explain your viewpoint. Demands and threats are probably the best way to not get you your raise.

It's a common issue it seems. Few companies seem to realise that when they change the pay scale for new hires, they need to alter it all across the board.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413285)

I.T.? California? Job?

My friend... It is hard and cold out here amongst the jobless throng. Be careful. Don't jump from the frying pan!

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410590)

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.

Ask, but have a backup plan (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410794)

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!

Re:Ask, but have a backup plan (3, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

I respectfully disagree (4, Insightful)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411377)

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?

Re:I respectfully disagree (1)

DEBEDb (456706) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413579)

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."

Re:Ask, but have a backup plan (2, Interesting)

bobbozzo (622815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411323)

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 to do.

I'm currently at step 1 (asking for a raise), and I filled out an app for a very nice-sounding position with the county in case I need leverage.

Re:Ask, but have a backup plan (3, Interesting)

Phronesis (175966) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (1)

wpc4 (169892) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410836)

Yes, I have. I was told there wasn't enough money in the budget, originally. Now my boss is looking into getting me a promotion, although HR specifies no more than a 10% raise for any promotion. So now I'm making $15k less than title and still less then the new hires if I were to get a promotion.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (1)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411032)

Just because HR have a policy doesn't mean they won't make an exception if your boss is supportive of it

OTOH - why don't you apply for the new hire positions if they're worth more money?????

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (2, Insightful)

neitzsche (520188) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411206)

Find another job. You are worth it.

By not seeking other employment you are encouraging them to screw their employees. You are rewarding them for screwing you (by staying.) Your employer has no other way of learning why underpaying employees is bad.

The longer you stay underpaid, the more they are encouraged to do the same to others.

Hmmmm. I think I'll go update *my* resumé now...

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (4, Insightful)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411564)


If your boss is "Trying" to get this fixed, and its been more than three months with no solution, your boss is not doing anything.

Either he doesnt' think you're worth the new money, or your company is too dysfunctional.

Start looking elsewhere. If you really aren't being paid what you're worth, and the company has had three months to rectify it and hasn't ,then you should leave.

IF they are hiring new people at %30 more but say that they don't ahve room in the budget, they are lying.

They have room in the budget for the new people.

I think either your boss doesn't value you as much as those new people (it happens, even with people who are actually good employees) or he figure's your'e a sap who he can string along.

Get your resume in shape and get out of there.

Don't be a sap.

Oh, and screw this "they owe it to me" crap-- they don't owe you anything, and that's what you're getting, so end the relationship. Let your boss know you know this is absurd, or kills his ass until you leave- its your call. But its time for you to tak responsibility for the situation. Find someone who will pay you what you're worth.

Not because they "owe" it to you-- because they value you.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (4, Interesting)

splattertrousers (35245) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411034)

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.

Wrong! Don't keep it short! (3, Informative)

dustpuppy (5260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412184)

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.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (2, Insightful)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411109)

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... (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411146)

...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.

Re:Since you didn't mention it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6411274)

Actually, the best solution is: 1) Ask. 2) If that doesn't help, just start stealing things, slacking off, taking lots of cat-naps during the day. If my employer treats me like shit and it's a tough job market, I'd just start treating *them* like shit by doing the absolute minimum to get by.

After all, why should I bust my ass to make less or equal to everyone else who slacks off and does *their* absolute minimum? If they're not going to reward you justly for your exceptional work, stop working exceptionally.

Unlikely (0)

Asgard (60200) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410541)

I doubt there is any sort of labor-law to protect you from an employer who doesn't want to pay you competitively. Try threatening to quit unless they bring your pay back into line, then quit when they refuse.

BUSH = AN ECONOMY OF FAILURE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6410542)



Jobless Benefit Rolls Hit 20-Year High
Thu July 10, 2003 06:03 PM ET
By Tim Ahmann

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans claiming jobless benefits late last month hit its highest in more than 20 years, the government said on Thursday in a report underscoring persistent weakness in U.S. labor markets.

The number of idled workers on the benefit rolls jumped by 87,000 in the week ended June 28 to 3.82 million, the highest level since Feb. 1983, the Labor Department said.

It also said first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000 last week from 434,000 a week earlier, surprising economists on Wall Street who had expected claims to edge down a bit.

Not an uncommon situation (-1, Flamebait)

DukeLinux (644551) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410544)

Go find another job. If you are a white male you have no recourse but to look around and leave. Suck it up - that is the society we live in. If you try to get legal you will be fired. You won't be missed and you won't miss them.

IANAL, so here goes... (1, Informative)

digital_freedom (453387) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410549)

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.

Re:IANAL, so here goes... (3, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410721)

You _THINK_ you deserve a raise so your going to call up a lawyer????

I don't understand this mindset. It's insanity. No wonder you can't throw a stone and not hit a lawyer these days (who will sue you).

-malakai

Re:IANAL, so here goes... (1)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411219)

Maybe he can claim that he's been driven to a nervous breakdown by the fact that he's underpaid, that it's destroyed his life, that it's ruined his future prospects - hell, it even got him as far as making a post on /. about it!!!

Daniel

Re:IANAL, so here goes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6411309)

"You _THINK_ you deserve a raise so your going to call up a lawyer????"

Well, you have to pay that lawyer somehow...

Re:IANAL, so here goes... (1)

b!arg (622192) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411291)

How in god's name is this modded up as informative????

Re:IANAL, so here goes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6413992)

Are you fucking stupid? You need a lawyer to ask for a raise?

Suggestion (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410560)

Instead of wading through a million IANAL posts on Slashdot, consult AL.

ask for a raise (0, Redundant)

claydean (230881) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410561)

Ask for a raise

IANAL (1)

Stigmata669 (517894) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410565)

and YANAL. So go find a L.

Ask. (4, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410566)

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.

BLOW (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6410568)



Blow the big man's little wee-wee.

Make it go jizzy-jizzy all into your little mouth!

It will be cute, and will get you the raise.

I can just hear the boss farting now, when he blows his little white satin.

Re:BLOW (2, Funny)

wpc4 (169892) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410931)

Didn't work:(

Making less then the minimum? (0, Insightful)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410592)

I am currently making over $5k less than the minimum for my title

Huh? How can you be making less than the minimum? What minimum are you talking about?

Re:Making less then the minimum? (3, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410618)

"Huh? How can you be making less than the minimum? What minimum are you talking about?"

He pays them to work there.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (3, Funny)

one9nine (526521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410766)

He must work in Soviet Russia then.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411048)

He pays them to work there.

Having just graduated I'm almost to the point of considering that (pay for real-world work experience, no OSS doesnt count). Instead I'm being an entrepreneur for the summer.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (3, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410809)

"Huh? How can you be making less than the minimum? What minimum are you talking about?"

Insightful? It isn't obvious? Most places have a salary range for any given title. "The miminum we pay a nurse is $16 an hour". He's below that. Using the example I gave, he's a nurse making $13 an hour. Not trying to bash you (or the moderator) dude, but I'm a little baffled as to why that comment didn't make sense to you.

My question is: did he get into that position by a field promotion, or did they hold him back because he didn't have a full education in his field or something?

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411133)

Most places have a salary range for any given title. "The miminum we pay a nurse is $16 an hour". He's below that.

It's possible that's what he was talking about, but if so, how did that happen? If the place has a policy to pay people a certain salary why aren't they following it? Is it intentional? Is it an oversight?

I've heard of minimum salaries for union employees, like nurses, but he specifically said he was non-union. So where does this minimum come from?

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411176)

"If the place has a policy to pay people a certain salary why aren't they following it? Is it intentional? Is it an oversight?"

At the end of the day, people who decide salaries are only human. It could be a mistake, it could be that the person is defficient in an area, it could be that the place wants him to leave but doesn't want to fire him. I'm being held back because I got promoted into a position I didn't go to college for. Figures.

"So where does this minimum come from?"

I'd like him to answer that. I wouldn't be surprised if the economy had something to do with it. Worse, it may not actually be policy for somebody to be paid a certain amount, just a guideline. He should get that in writing.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411205)

"So where does this minimum come from?"

I'd like him to answer that.

'

Well that's exactly what I was doing when I asked what minimum he was talking about. After all, the answers I've gotten are pure speculation.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

wpc4 (169892) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410860)

Not industry set minimum, company HR compensation minimum.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411143)

Why would a company set a minimum for itself and then break it? Are they aware of this? It doesn't make sense to me.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411922)

I worked at a place like that. They upped the minimum salary to X, I was getting .85X(my salary had been about 5% above the previous X). I asked them why I hadn't been raised up to at least the minimum, they said they had a policy that they couldn't give anyone more than a 10% raise per year. I asked them why I hadn't gotten a 10% raise, then. They flustered. I asked them what could I possibly do and one of them made a crack about quitting and then interviewing for my job again.

I didn't have the guts to, but a coworker in the same situation did and they hired him back on for the equivalent of a 20% raise. I didn't quit right then, but I left a few months later after they started asking me if I wanted to go into management.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412511)

why bother quitting? why not just apply for your job as a new hire while you're still working there??? if your company is as dense as it sounds, they might hire you again with your raise :)

i can tell you for sure tho, hiring an attorney for this is the last thing you want to do, unless you're itching to get fired.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (2, Insightful)

Chasuk (62477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411693)

This isn't rocket science.

From the context, it should be obvious that our complainant is stating that he makes $5k less than the average minimum paid for his level of experience, wherein "minimum" is the lower/lowest amount in the range normally paid the people doing the same job in his/her geographical area.

Not to be condescending, but professionals have no mandated minimum salaries, so the meaning should have been unambiguous.

Re:Making less then the minimum? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411807)

From the context, it should be obvious that our complainant is stating that he makes $5k less than the average minimum paid for his level of experience

What the hell is an average minimum?

wherein "minimum" is the lower/lowest amount in the range normally paid the people doing the same job in his/her geographical area.

Normally paid? How do you figure out whhat is the range normally paid? Obviously he's not making below the lowest amount paid to people in his geographical area.

Not to be condescending, but professionals have no mandated minimum salaries, so the meaning should have been unambiguous.

Well, it wasn't. I've gotten three replies now with three different answers. So there was nothing unambiguous about it.

Go to HR (4, Insightful)

mpechner (637217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410617)

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.

Re:Go to HR (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410670)

Either way, first get the resume out there for a week or two.

I wouldn't suggest that. If you get out your resume, and your employer finds out, then you probably will get fired. If you're a good worker getting paid less than new hires, you're not going to get fired simply because you asked for a salary adjustment.

Just remember, a salary is better than unemployment.

Hmm, work my ass off and get paid a lot vs. call some telephone number one a week and get an unemployment check. Personally I'd say a salary is worse than unemployment :).

Re:Go to HR (3, Insightful)

sydb (176695) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410948)

If you get out your resume, and your employer finds out, then you probably will get fired.

Not sure how that would happen. Presuming the resume (well, mine is a CV) is going to reputable employment agencies, then they will always consult you first before passing it on to a prospective employer. The agency wants to look like an idiot just as little as you do.

I occasionally get calls from agencies 18 months after being placed in a permanent post, so my CV is definitely 'out there' despite my not having pushed it.

There is no harm in this. You are not going to get fired simply for having been in touch with an employment agency months ago, or now.

Re:Go to HR (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411182)

Good point. If you keep it low-key, you're probably not going to get caught. I still think if your employer found out you were actively getting out your resume that you'd be fired though. I'd probably at least start looking for his/her replacement.

Re:Go to HR (2, Insightful)

Piquan (49943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411190)

Presuming the resume (well, mine is a CV) is going to reputable employment agencies,

People misunderstand. Things get screwed up. And if you post on dice.com or something, all bets are off. I've seen people with the best of intentions get into trouble by putting out a resume before they were ready to.

Re:Go to HR (1)

mpechner (637217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411110)

Nothing wrong with getting your resume out there. I've never been "asked to Leave." because my resume was sent out.

Try to live on $200/week. Especially when at the end of the year you have to pay taxes on it.

Re:Go to HR (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411155)

Try to live on $200/week.

I do.

Especially when at the end of the year you have to pay taxes on it.

If you're only making $200/week in unemployment compensation, you won't pay any taxes on it.

Re:Go to HR (1)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411594)


I live on $200 a week, though I budgetted $300 in my savings, just in case.

In this market, anyone who's employed should be living on $200 and putting the rest into savings or retirement.

I don't understand the people who just watch the dot bomb (And all the local Amazon.com employees who bought million dollar houses on stock optiosn declaring bankruptcy) who are continuing to live paycheck to paycheck at a big salary.

It was prudent in boom times to save your money, and if you're not doing it now, you're just being irresponsible.

Oh, unless of course you are truely financially independant (That is, without counting any stock options). Then nevermind.

Re:Go to HR (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412340)

How exactly do you live on $200 a week when a mortgage is about that? And a car payment about half that? Or are you talking just about food?

Re:Go to HR (1)

Electrum (94638) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412492)

In this market, anyone who's employed should be living on $200 and putting the rest into savings or retirement.

Please outline a budget where a single person could live on $200 a week. I would be very interested in seeing it.

Re:Go to HR (1)

toast0 (63707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412761)

$200 a week is > $800 a month, but we'll go with $800/month cause that makes my calculations easier

Rent for an efficiency in downtown milwaukee $400
Electricity for a month in downtown milwaukee $25
Telephone bill for a month (only local service) $20
Water and heat included with rent

That takes care of rent and utilities (assuming electric stove) and leaves you with $355 for the rest of your needs.

Lets say your company sucks, and you can't get a discount bus pass, so you have to buy the weekly bus pass at $12/week... so that's $60 if its one of the months with 5 sundays (or whatever day the weekly pass starts on)

That pretty much gets you everything you need except food. For $295, you should be able to feed yourself for a month. You could probably get a breakfast and dinner value meal at a fast food joint for that, or *gasp* get stuff from the grocery store and eat real food.

Good Lord (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411356)

It's possible to circulate one's resume discretely, and I suppose it's usually a good idea to do so. But I hate to imagine what kind of company you're working for, if they'd fire somebody just for circulating a resume! Indeed, that's a pretty stupid policy, considering the costs of unnecessary employee churn. At any place I've worked, a manager who thought that way would be the one who'd be looking for a job!

Re:Good Lord (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411773)

It's possible to circulate one's resume discretely, and I suppose it's usually a good idea to do so.

Yeah, someone else already mentioned that, and I agreed with him.

But I hate to imagine what kind of company you're working for, if they'd fire somebody just for circulating a resume!

I don't work for a company.

Indeed, that's a pretty stupid policy, considering the costs of unnecessary employee churn.

If the guy's circulating his resume, chances are you're going to save money by getting his replacement before he quits on you.

FIRST (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#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?

What's wrong with our country? (4, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410694)

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

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410732)

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.

Maybe he's just not good at negotiation?

Re:What's wrong with our country? (0, Offtopic)

greck (79578) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411660)

That's my problem... my fortes are technical areas, not marketing, sales, and office politics. Absolutely nothing against those disciplines--I just recognize that I suck at them, and therefore, am inclined to similar under-compensation.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

schon (31600) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412521)

Maybe he's just not good at negotiation?

So what's the solution?

Getting a lawyer? Gee, that's a great way to stay employed. What employer wouldn't love for his employees to start threatening legal action, instead of simply taking 10 seconds to simply ask for a raise?

Find another job? How does that solve his problem? If he sucks at negotiation, then he'll just find himself in the same boat at another company (if the company is honest, he may start at market wages, but that sure won't last long.)

If he sucks at negotiation, then the only way he has to fix his problem is to learn negotiation. Yes, it can be done (social skills are just like any other). And the best place to start is to simply go ask his boss (nicely) for a raise. It's that simple.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412544)

One possible solution is to unionize.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410855)

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 there were no union and every worker had to settle their wage with the foreman by themselfs, and if there was even little too much work force around.. the techies haven't had this yet and are insanely poorly organized for what they're worth and do(that affects the companys, _ANY_ companys, bottom line, a techie strike would stop the whole country).

_anyone_ can be replaced, some more cheaply than others.

ok here's a somewhat usable tip: find another job, and after you are somewhat certain you will have it inform that you are going to switch job, if you are valuable the old employer might consider it worth to give you some bonus to stay if not, move on.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (2, Insightful)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411607)


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 to mafia bosses.

Only a sucker voluntarily joins a union. (At least as the unions are in the USA).

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413224)

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 grate in the floor. all of my examples are very old because these were pre-union times. you don't hear of these things nowadays because of labor laws (that unions helped create) and minimum wage laws (that unions helped create).

Everyone in the country knows that every time a minimum wage hike is drafted into a bill, that every company in the entire country screams bloody murder, but if it weren't for unions, and the effort they put into minimum wage laws (and lets not forget democrats who attempt to push minimum wage rates up constantly), we'd all be working at $0.65 an hour (even college educated folks) and we'd be goddamned happy about it or we'd be out on our asses, jobless.

anyone that thinks unions are organized crime should go live in a country where unions are outlawed. you will QUICKLY learn the value of a union.

Yes, some push their weight around too much, but don't judge the entire union workforce based on a couple of corrupt unions.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413825)

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.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

wpc4 (169892) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410979)

"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."

I fully agree, and that is currently the case. We have some people here, MCSE's that wouldn't know what to do with a server if it bit them in the ass.

Re:What's wrong with our country? (1)

bklock (632927) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411501)

If one of our servers was going around biting people, I'm not sure our sysadmins would know what to do with it either. Probably try to stay away from it and send in some disposable MCSE's to feed it.

Hint at temptations (1)

cyberman11 (581822) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410706)

Remember, wages are not set by fairness but by supply and demand. Is it really fair that someone who picks fruit 12 hours a day in 100 degree heat gets $4 per hour while a PHB gets $30 per hour to sit in an air-conditioned cubicle and think? If other companies are paying more than your current pay for your current work, that is important to both you and your company. I would mention that I have recently noticed that market rates for my work are much higher than my current pay; that I very much like my job; that I definitely want to stay with my current employer; and that I am feeling tempted to consider higher-paying alternatives.

Re:Hint at temptations (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411071)

Every orchard I've every worked in they paid by the box or bin. Usually the pickers made a pretty good wage. The last orchard paid $3.50 per 30#-35# bin of cherries, most good pickers (husband wive, possibly a kid or two) got at least 40 a day. That's more than I make with a degree. They do have to start early and move a lot, and it's pretty tough to do that sort of work all year, but they could generally find work for 4-6 months. Most of them really enjoyed being outside, and the generally relaxed attituted there. Until the government cracked down on migrant camps, (some were pretty bad shanty towns) most orchards provided showering facilities, rest rooms, and an area for camping. Basically the rules changes so if you offered them they had to meet all sorts of expensive requirements so the farmers generally pulled their limited offerings.

Re:Hint at temptations (0, Offtopic)

BitGeek (19506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411641)


Ah, gotta love that government "Service"! Creating poverty wherever it touches. Minimum wage creates unemployment. Lets tax the poor people %50 of their income so we can under fund programs that might give them %5 of their taxes back when they can no longer make ends meet!

How bright do you have to be to realize that letting them keep the money in the first place would leave them better off? Or that letting the wealtheir people keep the money would also leave the poor people better off? (more jobs, bigger economy, higher standard of living). Taxes can only CAUSE more poverty than they could hope to fix, and half of them are diverted to defense and other boondoggles like social security (Which gives people about %20 of their money back in retirement.)

Government is a disease masquarading as its own cure!

Re:Hint at temptations (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 11 years ago | (#6412371)

I'm not aware of any North American district or federal government that taxes at 50%, even for the ultra-wealthy. Sure you get close but that's at the high tax brackets, and they're smart enough to use the numerous loopholes available.

You may have to show another offer (3, Insightful)

zanson (3786) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 have to ask... (4, Interesting)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410746)

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

Re:I have to ask... (1)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6413801)

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? (2, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410748)

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.

An alternative compensation (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411409)

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.

Re:An alternative compensation (1)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411507)

management can't fail to notice that you stuck with an undercompensated job
Yes, they notice and flag you as "[x] OK to fuck over at annual review time"

This is cynical, but isn't it possible that this is what happened to the article's poster?

Re:An alternative compensation (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411604)

Well, if you're going to assume that everybody's out to fuck you, it does simplify your career strategy. Doesn't make for a very pleasant work day, though.

Re:An alternative compensation (1)

TC (WC) (459050) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411677)

Actually, I think having everyone out to fuck me would, in fact, make for the most pleasurable work day ever.

The title fits (-1, Offtopic)

mikecarrmikecarr (43676) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410759)

Alright, admittedly off-topic, but:

The next Slashdot story will be ready soon, but subscribers can beat the rush and see it early!

Y'know what would sell more subscriptions, since we're playing the humor-the-psychos-who-click-reload-all-day-long game... how about if you could see your numeric karma score if you had a subscription?

C'mon, Taco... anyone?

Gotos considered harmful (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6410771)

I am the "go to" for the department

I guess you didn't know that gotos are considered harmful. That's why you're not getting paid.

Working is a privilege... not a right! (4, Interesting)

foooo (634898) | more than 11 years ago | (#6410811)

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

Re:Working is a privilege... not a right! (1)

kelleher (29528) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411173)

Damn straight! Mod this guy up!

Why not ask? (3, Informative)

Gefd (562296) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

You are worth what the market will bear (4, Informative)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | more than 11 years ago | (#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

surf the net (2, Funny)

AllMightyPaul (553038) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411189)

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. :)

do you like your job? (2, Insightful)

74Carlton (129842) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411261)

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 estimation (especially if you get to go home on time every day).

Speaking from personal experience . . . (1)

edward.virtually@pob (6854) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411372)

. . . I'd advise you to cope with the lack of proper pay and be glad you have a job. Pay is politics and if you're unpopular pestering people for raises is a good way to get sacked no matter how objectively deserving you are of one -- nobody cares, but they'll be happy to fire you to shut you up.

Was in a similar situation and got a raise. (3, Interesting)

Confessed Geek (514779) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Any suggestions?!?! (4, Funny)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6411686)

Any suggestions at all before I look for other employment?"

Take a dump on the coffee room floor.
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