I got an email from a TR member who is dealing with an unfortunate situation:
"I haven't received an increase in pay for three years. That being said, I had to take on a part-time job. Not because I'm buying new TVs and cars, but because my pay rate hasn't increased with the cost of living. Anyway, I'm salary and regularly give over 48 hrs a week to my full time employer by getting in an hour early and skipping lunch.
A situation recently developed where I'm expected to work outside the 8 to 5 standard which would now conflict with my part-time employment. In the past, working weekends or staying late was never an issue for me. However, having the part time job I can't do those hours anymore.
I was gently informed that I could "get leaned on" by not doing the afterhours/weekend stuff because the main, full-time employment should be my priority. I don't necessarily disagree with that in principle as the full-time job pays most of the bills and pays my health insurance but I still need the part-time money. It's not like I got a part-time job because I want the little extras. I hate having to work a part-time job, but being without an increase in three years has had an impact.
So it comes down to this . . .what do I do?"
- I followed up with this TR member, and got the following information for more perspective:
- He's been at the full-time place for 12 years
- He and his supervisor along great; this is the closest they've ever come to having any type of falling out situation.
- No one else in the company has received a rate increase over the three years either
- Throughout the time without an increase, our guy has continued to take on new responsibilities, which most companies would see as grounds for a merit raise, not just cost of living.
I asked him if he thought his supervisor could champion his cause for a raise to those higher up, but he said his supervisor sees the issue the same way—that he should give up his part-time job.
So, this is a hard one. I believe this company is unrealistic if it thinks they're going to keep their outstanding employees on indefinitely without any pay raise. But, at the same time, the company operates in an at-will state so if it wants to lay someone off for this, it can.
I would recommend a heart-to-heart talk with the supervisor but I think the supervisor is already aware of the problem and doesn't want to bend on it. I wish I could recommend an action other than looking for another job.
Has anyone had direct experience with this kind of thing?
Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.