Why won’t employers offer me a fair salary?

Dear Evil HR Lady,

Will the unfairness in salary range among employees ever end? I don’t think so because there are always loops that these employers can jump through to justify why you are paid such meager wages. I have a degree and experience, but have been laid off. I worked hard for my degree. So now I am looking for a job and no one wants to pay enough.

The requirements they are asking for are not obtained from the schools for free — we have to pay for them. How can an individual pay back student loans and live off of $15/hr and $17/hr? And employers are only doing that because they know people are desperate and need to feed their families — not keep a roof over their heads — but just feed them, since no one can pay a mortgage along with other things with that compensation.

I told one interviewer who was offering me a job for $17/hr that I won’t be able to live on that. I will lose my home, and I have no where to go but at a shelter. The recruiter then fixed her mouth and asked me how am I living on unemployment. In other words, if I can make it on the unemployment check, I can make on $17/hr. I had to give her some choice words and educate her a bit ( we know she won’t be offering me any jobs in the future).

The work place and the whole job search thing has turned into a circus, with employers exploiting the employees by not paying them what they are worth. You can’t say that you won’t get your degree and just look for menial job, no, these employees want an individual to have a degree to file documents or to answer the phone for $10/hr.

You see the government knows that NO ONE can survive on the little handout they call unemployment, therefore they offer programs to assist with your mortgage and utilities, and the criteria for these programs is that you must be on unemployment. The minute you get a job, all the assistance stops. Therefore, one has to get a job that will allow them to keep their head above water.

What is this society coming to? it’s oppression right around — in the workplace, and even when you’re trying to get a job. Is there any one who can look into this?

To read the answer, click here: Why won’t employers offer me a fair salary?

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3 thoughts on “Why won’t employers offer me a fair salary?

  1. This was a really interesting letter, response and comment field on the CBS side. This resonates with me a lot, as a supervisor and as an employee. I was struck by the letter writer’s palpable senses of desperation and frustration, and I am reminded of a really simple story that fits in here. I had a GREAT employee, maybe earning $22/hour. She was happy, my customer (the government) was happy, and I was happy. Single mom, I think two kids. One week she took a “free” vacation to a place that sold time shares, and as it happens she purchased one. A super nice lady who could not say “no” to the sales agent, I am sure. As soon as she got back, she “needed” more salary. I talked with her about some upward mobility and some opportunities in the next year, and I got her a 13% raise to boot. But she ended up quitting because of her short term financial “needs.” Needs and life circumstances are intertwined, certainly. As a hiring manager, too, I am struck by how many clerical job candidates have a standard $65k requirement, not because that matches their skill set, but because it matches their expenses. While I understand and agree they need to seek employment that pays for their expenses, the letter writer and many people who interview with me don’t afford the employer equal understanding that, for example, if a position generates $60k in annual revenue, I cannot offer you $65k in salary , plus benefits. That is not exploitation of the worker – that is, as you say, how it works for all grown ups in a capitalist economy. Thanks for this one.

    1. Absolutely. And people coming straight out of school expecting to be making as much as people with 5 years of experience.

  2. What many people fail to realize is that the job pays what it pays. Market, not the evil HR Lady, sets the rate of pay for a given job. While, understandably, you may have a certain level of expenses you are responsible for, it is unreasonable to expect the company to be on the hook for those expenses. What one should do is try to determine how to get to that next level of compensation or how to reduce expenses.

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