I got the new responsibilites but not the title and pay

I was given (after training for it) additional duties and a promotion. However, I am told that the raise and title for that promotion take 9 months to be applied, with the justification to make sure you can do the job. Even though I’m called the title, I have yet to be given any of it officially (currently on month 7 of 9). Are they allowed to do it that way?

Are you in a union*? If the answer is no, then they can do it any way they want. As long as your pay hasn’t been cut, they don’t have to give you a title change or a pay increase with your increased responsibilities.

Earning minimum wage? Getting overtime when appropriate? Then they can ask you to do it.

Some things can cause problems for not having people’s titles and salaries match up with their duties, but that’s more to do with equity among employees. As long as they are treating everyone the same way, and you’re not being singled out because of race/gender/etc. then it’s legal. (If they are paying you a salary and no overtime, then your actual duties need to be exempt level duties, of course.)

Is it a good idea? Of course not.

You should give the title and pay increase with the duties. A lot of people naturally grow into more responsibilities and then get a pay and title increase. Still, it’s a natural evolution of duties rather than “you do this now, but we won’t pay you extra for 9 months.”

This is the way a company loses good employees. Take your best employees–the ones you want to promote–and treat them poorly and watch them leave.

You’ve got two months left of their game, but I advise you to start looking for a new job because I suspect they will have another delay when nine months hit. If it doesn’t, and you like the job, then great! But, if they are like, “well, you haven’t met ALL the criteria yet,” you’ll already have a headstart on the job hunting.

*If you are in a union, then the union contract will specify how promotions should be done.

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4 thoughts on “I got the new responsibilites but not the title and pay

  1. Something similar is happening to me right now. It’s the way the company does this particular promotion, built into the SOPs. The logic is that the position is rather high-risk, both for the employee and the company. So there’s a probationary period, where you do the work but aren’t officially 100% in the role yet. This allows either party (you or the company) to decide it’s not working out and for you to go a different direction in your career without it officially being a demotion. Everyone can say “James wasn’t demoted; he just took on different workload at his current position”, something which happens all the time.

    Something like that may be at play here. If it is, it’d be worth knowing. Talk to your supervisor about it. Usually there’s a list of criteria you need to meet to advance along the career path (career development framework or something similar) floating around somewhere that you can get ahold of. If you’re not comfortable directly asking about your situation, you can ask for that list so you can plan the next five years or identify weaknesses, which is a perfectly normal request.

  2. This tactic of giving a title and duties without a pay increase is a very well-used movement in companies that figure the title is the motivator for people over monetary immediate gain. I speak from experience of being offered a job title which I had to undergo as they labeled it a trial period to see if I could handle the responsibility and get the results they wanted. I achieved both and then was told that my pay increase was a fraction of my expected rate, despite my achievement of their goals because the position was merely a title, not a real position, in terms of management roles.
    My advice is if offered a job with a title, but is not going to give you monetary value upfront, think carefully. You may want to gain the experience to learn if you can do the job, but put strong conditions on what you are willing to do performance-wise without monetary gain. There’s no such thing as a long-term take-over responsibility job with nothing but a title. Only a purely narcissistic person would think a title alone is worth doing extra responsibilities beyond the normal job requirements, and you know that person will actually do less work because they now have a title, causing more employee turnover. The companies that do this tactic are looking for constant employee turnover versus long-term employees since they have to think about offering benefits to employees after a certain time period to long-term employees.
    Lack of appropriate labor laws allows for these kinds of conditions, especially in right-to-work areas.

  3. I understand the concept of “probation” upon receiving more responsibilities. The excuses given by companies to make people do the work without compensating them are pathetic, and I agree with Suzanne, will lead some of those best employees to eventually leave.
    There are ways to handle the probation time fairly for the employee, while managing the risk on both sides. For instance, during the probation time, same grade, “acting” title for a defined period (shouldn’t be longer than the probation period for a new hire…), and payment of an “acting” allowance/premium, which can be taken away if the employee is not permanently promoted.
    And then, the company could even backdate the promotion to the day of start of probation, and backdate the actual pay increase to that date too (minus – the “acting” allowance perceived to date) – though to be honest I’ve only seen that done in the most progressive high tech organisations.

  4. I think this is an indication of the company’s integrity and I must say it does not build loyalty or empower employees. All pay increases and title changes should be granted at the time the job responsibilities change – not 6, 9 or 12 months later. It almost sounds like the company is putting you on an unofficial probationary period for you to prove you can perform the work. That’s not right either.

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