Author Topic: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less  (Read 3931 times)

naturelover

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I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« on: December 09, 2019, 01:16:56 PM »
TL;DR: I gave notice at my job last spring and stayed on part-time after being asked to stay for "a while". Am currently working under a contract but still an employee. They want me to continue at a 33% lower pay rate and half the hours. I wanted to work 3-6 more months at the current rate. What should I do?

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I gave notice at work this past spring with the intention to semi-FIRE by transitioning to some unrelated freelance work that I'd already been doing for the past few years. I was the only person there who knew how to do my job (of a technical nature and not quickly replaceable). So I gave notice, and they asked me to stay. I worked out a part-time arrangement where I dictated the hours and pay. I negotiated to keep my full-time pay while working 20 hours per week.

I've been doing this part-time arrangement for about 6 months and we're discussing extending into next year. I proposed a continuation of the current arrangement. They have told me that they cannot continue to pay this high of a rate for 20 hours per week and have proposed a 33% decrease in hourly rate and cut the hours from 20 to 10 per week. My total monthly pay would be 2/3 lower than it is now and I would be working half as much.

I do not want to continue under this arrangement. It's just too little total money for how much stress I have in this position. Working part-time has been 90% of the stress of working full-time, I would say, and working only 10 hours a week will be really stressful because how will all the work get done? I posed this question but they didn't seem to have thought much about that. It's more of a budgeting issue with salaries, I think.

I wanted to work another 3-6 months to pad the stash, pay off the mortgage, then bounce. They really do not have a good plan in place for when I leave, that I am aware of.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am thinking of counteroffering to stay 3-6 months longer at the current rate, and then fully leave the company. I don't know if they'll go for it since they were pretty clear that they think I'm being paid too much now. I really do not want to continue for less money but I did want a few more months at this rate.

Thanks for taking the time to read! :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 01:26:02 PM by naturelover »

LadyMuMu

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2019, 01:47:40 PM »
In my experience, working part-time in a place that has mostly full-time folks is just less pay for doing the same amount of full time work faster. It sounds like that's what they thought you would do too. But their proposal makes no sense to me. Put you at quarter time and pay you 1/3 of your salary?!? Depending on your schedule you could spend more unpaid time going to and from work than actually working. I'd counteroffer 6 months at current rate or cordially part ways--and be willing to walk. Have they made any progress in replacing you yet? If not, you're in the drivers seat on this negotiation.

Aegishjalmur

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2019, 01:52:05 PM »
I would look for a new job before your contract is up. Your current employer will then need to either match or lose you. Based on that offer they seem the type to try to jerk you around and get you to work more off the clock to get the same amount of work done.

wellactually

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2019, 02:38:56 PM »
Can you go ahead and complete the transition to the unrelated freelance work? Do you just feel a responsibility not to leave them since they don't have a replacement plan?

If you don't need to keep working there, I'd offer two options: complete current agreement and then offer an hourly contract rate if they'd like to hire you as a 1099 to provide training or create a handbook/SOPs OR extend for 30/60/90 days at current rate and then part ways. You can still offer the hourly contract option in the extension option if you feel like it.

If you're able to get out, it sounds like this place makes you miserable and you should. You don't have to burn any relationships to communicate clearly that your plans for life and career mean it's time to move on. I've known a lot of boomer coworkers or family members who hit the 60-70 range and keep pushing back retirement because their employer just need them. Know your worth and your mental capacity to continue with the status quo.

Gronnie

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2019, 02:56:54 PM »
If you can do the 10 hours either from home or in 1 or 2 shifts I would consider it and then just work as hard as I could for those 10 hours and not stress if not everything gets done as they are the ones who insisted on 10 hours, not you.

Villanelle

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2019, 03:09:27 PM »
You said you negotiate to work 20 hours and keep full time pay.  Do you mean you kept the full time hourly pay, or that actual total salary?  If the later, that is a really, really sweet deal!

Regardless, they are essentially offering you a job, and you don't like the terms.  You can do one of three things:
1) accept (DON'T do this!!!)
2) negotiate
3) say, "no thank you.  Here's my letter officially stating that [date that is the end of your current contract] will be my last day.

My approach would be a combination of 2 & 3.  Decide what you are willing to take.  Maybe 10 hours but no cut in your hourly rate?  Or keeping 20 hours but a 15% reduction?  Or....?  (and if it is none of those and the only terms under which you are willing to stay are what you have now or better, skip essentially to step 3 if they refuse that.)  See what you can get them to, and then decide, once you have their last/best offer, if it's worth it

Gremlin

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2019, 06:19:01 PM »
I'm confused.  You appear to be in the far stronger negotiating position.  But they are dictating terms to you.  If you're only 3 to 6 months away from making that transition anyway, then use the power of your stash to be assertive.  If they say no, then move on.

ApacheStache

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2019, 08:27:39 PM »
I do not want to continue under this arrangement. It's just too little total money for how much stress I have in this position. Working part-time has been 90% of the stress of working full-time, I would say, and working only 10 hours a week will be really stressful because how will all the work get done? I posed this question but they didn't seem to have thought much about that. It's more of a budgeting issue with salaries, I think.

It almost sounds like they're trying to make you an offer that you can refuse because they want you to leave. Or they want to draw you into some sort of negotiation where they lowball you in hopes that you'll negotiate to a slightly less-offensive wage and schedule. Either way, I'd leave and pursue another job if you really want to pad your stache. It sounds like your management team is incompetent, cheap, conniving or all of the above.

I'm not sure what you do for work, but I have a hard time believing an individual can get a meaningful amount of work done in only 10 hours in a 40+ hour work week. There's no way I'd re-arrange my schedule 4-5 days a week to work 10 hours.

naturelover

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2019, 04:22:29 AM »
OP here. Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses.

Can you go ahead and complete the transition to the unrelated freelance work? Do you just feel a responsibility not to leave them since they don't have a replacement plan?
Sure, I could go ahead and move on and focus on just my freelance work. I feel a small responsibility to them as I've been there a long time and like the people I work with. However, that is only a minor point. The bigger issue really is fear of completely pulling the plug. What I do is becoming somewhat obsolete and once I leave, there's likely no going back to this field (not that I want to, but a potential concern if I needed money). If anyone can point me to threads on fear of pulling the plug, I could use some advice in that area. :) I'm FI but of course a little more money always sounds better. I'm fully aware that I have a moving goalpost for my FI number. I'm actually deeply entrenched in OMY.

You said you negotiate to work 20 hours and keep full time pay.  Do you mean you kept the full time hourly pay, or that actual total salary?  If the later, that is a really, really sweet deal!
Yes, it's the total full-time salary. I'm not a high earner (mid to high five figures), but it's still a sweet deal. It's made me question if I'm being unreasonable to expect that they'd continue to pay me this rate for 20 hours. I've been mulling this over, back and forth, and I just don't know what is reasonable or not.

It almost sounds like they're trying to make you an offer that you can refuse because they want you to leave. Or they want to draw you into some sort of negotiation where they lowball you in hopes that you'll negotiate to a slightly less-offensive wage and schedule. Either way, I'd leave and pursue another job if you really want to pad your stache. It sounds like your management team is incompetent, cheap, conniving or all of the above.
I'm not sure what you do for work, but I have a hard time believing an individual can get a meaningful amount of work done in only 10 hours in a 40+ hour work week. There's no way I'd re-arrange my schedule 4-5 days a week to work 10 hours.
Really good points, thanks. They have told me they'd like me to stay. If they didn't, they could have just let the current contract lapse at the end of this month.

About drawing me into a lowball negotiation, I think this could be what's happening. Hard to say. What I do isn't rocket science, but it's esoteric enough that it's difficult to hire for and takes a good while to really train. I just found myself in a spot of good timing where the other person who did this same work left end of last year and was not replaced, leaving me as the only one there who knows how to do the work. There is a new employee who's been training with me most of this year, but it's not that person's full-time job and it's something that takes a good couple years to really get up to speed on. This person is in no position to be able to do all of this work themselves, but I don't know if managment fully understands that. I think they do to some degree.


Thanks again, everyone, for your insights. I do appreciate it!

Elle 8

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2019, 05:19:46 AM »
You basically got a 100% raise in your hourly rate when you went from 40 hours to 20 hours and kept your full time rate. Now they want to drop it 33%. It's still a 34% raise over your original hourly rate. So if you originally made (for example, since I don't know the actual numbers) $40 an hour, it got increased to $80 an hour, now they are offering you 53.60 an hour. It doesn't sound unreasonable to me. But since they've been paying double the original rate for six months now, I guess I'd hesitate to take the new deal too, thinking maybe they were underpaying me before the change.





reeshau

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2019, 05:26:26 AM »
I think anchoring on your old salary is a mistake.  And I'm not really sure if it's the hourly rate drop that gets to you, or the drop in hours themselves.  (or both)  More important factors:

1) Do you need more money?  You have touched on this--you have a case of OMY.

2) Can you make more money freelancing?  This is the opportunity cost of splitting your time into this 10 hour bucket

3)  What are their other options?  They have a junior woodchuck learning.  Maybe they need to try that to see the light.

You need to consider what this means *to you*, and less about what it means *to them*.  (think about it, in order to negotiate, but don't worry about it--it's not your problem)  From what you have said here, I would stick to my guns; this might be the kick you need to finally cut off OMY.  But I would also bet this is not a one-time discussion; they may need a few weeks until Jr. finds the end of his training and gets stuck, at which point your old contract may seem more than reasonable.  So, don't go "take this job and shove it."  Let them know that's your limit, and you would be open to it again.

You aren't just in a better money position then them, you are in a much better time position.  Use that.


Malcat

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2019, 05:41:31 AM »
It is 100% unreasonable to expect your employer to pay you double what your time is worth indefinitely. Any business doing that should be scrambling to desperately find a solution to make that arrangement as short as possible.

Pigeon

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2019, 05:51:49 AM »
It is 100% unreasonable to expect your employer to pay you double what your time is worth indefinitely. Any business doing that should be scrambling to desperately find a solution to make that arrangement as short as possible.

If I was your employer, I'd see it that way, too.  I'd also have been figuring out how to replace you by now.  In my experience, no employee is irreplaceable.  I think you can try to  negotiate to keep the status quo, but I'd be working harder on finding Plan B outside the company, whatever that looks like to you.

FatFI2025

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2019, 06:29:53 AM »
One piece that I think is missing from the discussion is what's the market hourly/salary for this position and how is your current rate comparatively? Will going less than 20 hours drop you out of benefits?

They might want to reduce you to ten hours to take you out of the benefits range, which isn't necessarily a bad thing for you. I'm wondering if you could counter to stay at 20 hours, because that's what you need to get the work done, but switch to independent contractor at $X/hr at a market rate.

Since you're already FI, being an independent contractor would allow you to purchase healthcare on your own (can use COBRA for first 18 months), put most of your earnings to a solo 401k, and potentially give you a QBI deduction.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 06:31:34 AM by FatFI2025 »

mistymoney

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2019, 06:40:04 AM »
Working part-time has been 90% of the stress of working full-time, I would say, and working only 10 hours a week will be really stressful because how will all the work get done?

why is 20 hours so much stress? Have they not transitioned anything away from you?

Definitely say no to their new arrangement!

NO!

Practice it out loud for a while :)

dandarc

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2019, 07:53:57 AM »
I guess they better hire your replacement before your current contract is over.

If you really want to stay, I'd counter with 10 hours per week at a modest increase from current hourly rate. And the key will be to compartmentalize the work and really only do 10 hours of work each week.

okits

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2019, 08:06:20 AM »
Quote
I do not want to continue under this arrangement. It's just too little total money for how much stress I have in this position.

Despite your mixed feelings, the quoted portion of the OP is the most relevant piece.  In the decades of ER you have ahead of you, you can't pick up odd jobs or freelance contracts to earn the same 3-6 months of salary you were hoping to get out of this extension?  Half a year at high-five-figures is under $50k.  In the next decade, you can't earn $5k/yr ($417/month or $96/week) doing something else?

It's not your job to fix succession problems or decide the company should move to non-obsolete systems (where they can actually hire staff that understand them).  Getting really stressed out by paid employment is for people who can't afford to quit.  You're FI, go enjoy your life.  And congratulations on getting there!  👍

SunnyDays

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2019, 09:48:41 AM »
Working part-time has been 90% of the stress of working full-time, I would say, and working only 10 hours a week will be really stressful because how will all the work get done?

why is 20 hours so much stress? Have they not transitioned anything away from you?


This is the question.  Are you still doing 40 hours of work in 20 hours AND training the newbie?  If that's the case, then you should get your old salary.  If not, then decide how many hours per week would make it worthwhile to you and ask for whatever the hourly wage would come to, with the stipulation that you will only be doing that amount of work and nothing more.

Villanelle

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2019, 12:04:11 PM »
Okay, it makes more sense to me now that I understand they essentially doubled your hourly pay.  I understand why they feel they can't continue that, but in the end, that's not really your responsibility, or anything you need to consider.  Maybe you are overly paid, maybe they gave you too generous a deal when this started.

The only thing that matters is how many hours you are willing to give them, at what rate.  Answer that question, and then negotiate to see you you can get there.  I'd probably have a few options (X hours at $A, or Y hours at $B, or Z hours with half of them from home at $C) and then go in slightly higher than all those rates so you have a bit of room to come down.  If they counter, give them your true A, B, and C and be prepared to walk if they can't get there. 

If it comes to that, there's still perhaps some room.  You can see if they will give you one more month at the current terms for you to finish training the new persona and close everything out.  That allows you one extra month of your sweet deal. 

Cassie

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2019, 06:08:31 PM »
Itís still a good deal and I would take it.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2019, 06:46:18 PM »
I was told by someone I respect that if I ever went independent and did contract not salary work, I should be charging double my previously highest "hourly rate". For one thing you're paying all the payroll taxes, health benefits, etc, so you aren't actually getting paid double (unless you can mooch off a spouse's health plan, but even then you still have payroll taxes). Plus invoicing, getting clients to pay, etc.

What I hear is you went contract and hit exactly double your previous hourly rate. Good!

If your hours and pay decrease but it stays above said double-rate, then that's an okay thing to accept. If it goes below that, its probably time to say goodbye.

Tester

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2019, 07:31:47 PM »
It is 100% unreasonable to expect your employer to pay you double what your time is worth indefinitely. Any business doing that should be scrambling to desperately find a solution to make that arrangement as short as possible.

Totally agree to this.
The problem is that he was not expecting anything, as ha gave notice.
I would say in this case it is unreasonable for the employer to expect this person to work for any rate for any amount of time beyond the notice.
So for the OP: as you already gave notice I don't see the problem in just saying no and really quitting - except if things changed since you gave notice and now you can't afford that anymore.

daverobev

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2019, 01:59:44 AM »
Sure, I could go ahead and move on and focus on just my freelance work. I feel a small responsibility to them as I've been there a long time and like the people I work with. However, that is only a minor point. The bigger issue really is fear of completely pulling the plug. What I do is becoming somewhat obsolete and once I leave, there's likely no going back to this field (not that I want to, but a potential concern if I needed money). If anyone can point me to threads on fear of pulling the plug, I could use some advice in that area. :) I'm FI but of course a little more money always sounds better. I'm fully aware that I have a moving goalpost for my FI number. I'm actually deeply entrenched in OMY.

Do you have something to retire to?

If you have enough money, why do you need more - no, a little more money doesn't sound better - you only have so much life, once that's gone it's gone, and it sounds like you don't like your job at all.

IMHO, either take the 10 hours on the proviso that it will be 10 hours. But, better, take a 3 month walking/biking/road trip or something with no email contact to make a clean break so you can start your new life.

I mean - post your numbers, maybe we can provide some "oh, fuck you have so much money, why are you doing this...".

Malcat

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2019, 03:43:33 AM »
It is 100% unreasonable to expect your employer to pay you double what your time is worth indefinitely. Any business doing that should be scrambling to desperately find a solution to make that arrangement as short as possible.

Totally agree to this.
The problem is that he was not expecting anything, as ha gave notice.
I would say in this case it is unreasonable for the employer to expect this person to work for any rate for any amount of time beyond the notice.
So for the OP: as you already gave notice I don't see the problem in just saying no and really quitting - except if things changed since you gave notice and now you can't afford that anymore.

I was responding to OP's exact words
"It's made me question if I'm being unreasonable to expect that they'd continue to pay me this rate for 20 hours"

Ockhamist

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Re: I gave notice and stayed - now employer wants to pay me less
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2019, 01:42:01 PM »
I think you are overthinking this.   It's good to try to see things from your employer's point of view, but you seem to be trying to make a decision from their point of view.

You gave them plenty of notice that you were leaving.   If they did not make a suitable plan for what to do when you left, that's not on you at all.   You've given them time to transition.

The only question that I think matters in deciding whether or not to continue on with them is this:  is what they are offering worth it to you?   If the money, working conditions, and hours they are offering and asking all told make a package that is worth it -- as judged by you, not by your boss, not by "the market", not by HR, not by anyone else -- then it's worth it.  If not, then it isn't.

So: envision two scenarios:  Stay scenario, you continue on, and they pay you money.   Walk scenario:  you walk, and they don't pay you money.   Which scenario do you prefer?   

If the answer is walk, what would they have to offer you to change your mind?  Then that's what they need to offer. You have the freedom to choose what you do with your time.  So you don't have to, and shouldn't, take anything less than whatever makes it worth your time.   

It sounds like what they are offering you puts you at walk, and that you have a clear idea of what would be required to move you to stay.  If that is unattainable ... well, that just settles that it's walk.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 01:48:12 PM by Ockhamist »