Should an Employer Increase Employee Hours with No Extra Pay?

The office I work in will be moving from a 38.75 work week to a 40 hour work week. The current thinking is that salaries should remain the same after hours are increased. This doesn’t affect exempt employees so much (most work over 40 hours) but does mean a pay cut for all full-time non-exempt employees; with no salary change and additional hours required, the hourly rate will be cut by just over 3%.

Full-time non-exempt employees are salaried unless they work overtime or take unpaid time. According to, the salaries of the full-time non-exempt employees are in the 10-15th percentile for our industry in our area and the organization hasn’t given raises or cost of living adjustments in several years. This change would reduce an already low hourly rate.

I want to be sensitive to the budget but do want to respectfully and politely express how that decision could impact the morale of the employees in the office. How would you recommend handling this situation?

To read the answer, click here: Should an Employer Increase Employee Hours with No Extra Pay?

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2 thoughts on “Should an Employer Increase Employee Hours with No Extra Pay?

  1. Since compensation is a bell curve, some company has to be at the bottom. That was my old toxic-company. My compensation and others was at 1%ile and 2%ile of market. They didn’t care about costs of training new employees because they didn’t train anyone. You either performed and trained yourself on your own time, using your own purchased materials (no reimbursement), at your own home or they canned you. They did this so often that nobody kept anything personal in the office and we all expected to be let go every day we went in the office. Those who were lucky enough in the recession to find other jobs left as soon as they could, others just knew that one day they would be let go. A few other things they did to earn the moniker of toxic company (of the year): If you wanted to write something you bought your own pens/pencils; if you wanted to print you bought your own paper. I had to paint my own office after hours during my first week. The use of personal vehicles was required and they said reimbursement for the car was already built into the compensation they paid.

    On my first day, my boss sat down with me and went over HR stuff for 45 minutes and when he left the room I didn’t see him again for a month; he only communicated remotely via email.

    Morale, Phhhhh. The company motto was the beatings will continue until morale improves and if it improves we will do an investigation to determine who screwed with the system…someone will be punished.

    As you can already guess, the company did not do cost of living or any other annual raises. If you didn’t like your compensation then…umm…nothing. You weren’t getting a raise ever so just suck it up, leave, or get canned.

    There’s a reason I call it toxic-company.

    With the letter writer’s company at 15%ile, I can’t imagine that it is much less toxic than mine. There is more going on than just compensation issues. With this situational framing of mine, Suzanne, although I normally agree with your evil advice, this time I think you gave advice that may work in a company that is closer to the midrange of the market and may have morals. For this company my advice to the letter writer would be to get out and find a new job because I’m sure this is simply one symptom of a dysfunctional organization that is almost as toxic as mine.

    Roger Rabbit

    1. Well, they at least have an HR manager who is trying to make them see sense. And what I edited out is that they are a non-profit and lots of non-profits pay on the low end.

      But, I do suspect there is a lot of toxic going on there. You don’t screw over your non-exempt staff. For 3 percent on the non-exempt staff, you cut senior staff member’s pay if need be.

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