Salary Negotiation Tips: Employer Reneging on a Verbal Salary Agreement

How can I get my employer to honor the commitment for a pay raise made at the time of my promotion?

Q: I’ve been with the same company for 15 years. Recently I’ve been promoted to manage a department in two different divisions. My commute varies between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on my schedule. At the time of my promotion, we agreed on a salary increase. This new pay scale has yet to start and I’ve been notified that it may not be possible to pay me the agreed upon amount. What are my options now?

A: Your 15-year track record allows you the privilege of demanding that the company actually come through with what they promised. Had you been there for just a short period of time, things would be different. But you’ve demonstrated your loyalty through the years and now it’s time for them to demonstrate the same loyalty in return.

You don’t need to be mean, upset, or angry about it. You simply need to state your case carefully. “I understand that some difficulties have come up about being able to pay me what we agreed on. I realize the company has difficult times, but I’m talking to you to say that I must insist that we find a way to reinstate the compensation that we agreed upon. Otherwise my commute and other things just won’t make it worth it. I certainly wouldn’t quit on you but, after 15 yeares of service, I’m sure you don’t want me coming to work every day concerned or stressed. So I just have to say ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ What can we do to make this right?”