WWYD: The Non-Salary Adjustment

Today in “WWYD,” a pay adjustment that didn’t happen:

I have awesome bosses who have been awesome enough to allow me to stay on part-time in my current job while going to University (I was full-time for two years before starting University three weeks ago).

During the decision-making process, I figured I would wait for them to bring up the issue of re-adjusting of my pay, according with the fewer hours I would be working (which—totally fine, can’t expect them to pay me the same for less work). It never came up.

Three weeks into my less-hours schedule, I am still being paid my full-time salary. I don’t know whether to say something to my boss or not—I’m afraid of getting someone at payroll in trouble. But at the same time, I don’t want to take advantage—they’re already being so great about everything! — L.

The thing that I did not read in this question is: “I’m afraid that if I bring this up, I’ll end up with a smaller paycheck, and I don’t want that!”

The thing that I did read is: “I don’t want to take advantage.”

So the answer is clear to me: Bring up the issue! It may be that your awesome, so-great-about-everything bosses want to continue to keep you at your full-time pay rate. Or they may decide they need to readjust your pay at another time depending on how they see things go. Or it might be a payroll mistake. Whatever it is, it sounds like you’d be okay with the outcome either way, so it won’t hurt to bring it up. It seems strange to not have talked about this during the discussion about cycling back your hours to part-time (because if you were going to get a pay cut, you should probably know what that number is going to be). If you don’t bring it up now, it might become an issue later, and if it is because someone in payroll made a mistake, that person is going to get found out anyway. So I’d say something now. It’s what you should do for people who have been so good to you.


Email me your WWYD experiences to me with “WWYD” in the subject line. See previous installments.



8 Comments / Post A Comment

aeroaeroaero (#1,422)

People in payroll mess up all the time; most likely if it was a payroll error no one is going to get reprimanded very much. Depending on your state, your employer can be like “oops! We overpaid you, we’d like that money back, plz” and THEY CAN TAKE IT BACK. So be prepared for that (luckily it’s only three weeks). Best case scenario is that they are just keeping your old salary. As Mike said, it would be weird for them not to have given you a number by this time. But definitely say something so you can find out what is up.

jfruh (#161)

No, you really 100% need to point this out, because they’ll almost certainly figure it out eventually and you’ll almost certainly have to pay it back. You won’t get anyone fired, though the longer you let it go without saying anything the more upset they’ll probably be with you.

shannowhamo (#845)

Of course, certianly have to tell them BUT it’s possible they did intend to keep you at the same salary. That is crazy talk to me as I’ve never been in that situation but a friend of mine was pregnant, told her boss she wanted to go part time, and he said “sure, and we’ll pay you the same, and you’ll only have to travel as much as you want.”

Definitely bring this up! If someone is going to get in trouble over this, it will definitely be worse if it goes on for months unremarked than if it gets pointed out and cleared up quickly, and just generally be more annoying to deal with.

This is totally something I struggle with, being the sort of person who did things in school like fail assignments rather than turn in crappy work, but one of the most important lessons I am trying to learn is that at work, people care a lot less that I make mistakes (within reason, of course), than that I notice and fix them quickly. It might not even be payroll’s mistake, but your boss or whoever forgetting to tell someone there about the change.

But also, are you sure about your company’s pay schedule? Mine pays biweekly, two weeks in arrears for accounting purposes. So, for example, I just got a modest raise that took effect on Monday, but because that’s the middle of the pay period, it’ll be three weeks until I get an increased paycheck – and if I quit today, I would still get at least two more paychecks. It might be that all is well and the next check you get will reflect the change. Obviously you’ve been there for awhile, but if your paychecks are usually the same every time it seems like a detail that’s easy to forget.

@Lorelei@twitter and obviously all that assumes your pay *IS* being changed, which, as mentioned, it might not even be.

dham (#2,271)

I’ll echo the bringing it up- if it’s a mistake, it will be discovered when the budget is reconciled. By which point, you may have already paid taxes on income you’ll have to pay back, which gets very complicated.

I’d bring it up too, but since you’ve been p/t for just a few weeks it’s possible you’re still being paid on a previous work schedule? At one of my two jobs, the cut off date for pay is the Thursday the week before the Friday paycheque so any pay I get is for work that can be 2-3 weeks prior. It may all even out in the end, but if it doesn’t by next payday I’d definitely speak to someone about it.

EM (#1,012)

@Deb of last year@twitter Yeah depending on the size of the company, a lot of places pay out 4-6 weeks after the dates worked– when you first started, was there a delay before you got paid? Or do your paycheques reflect the dates you’re being paid for?

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