Going Exempt to Non-Exempt -- Opportunity to Renegotiate Salary?

ConfuseousPrimeConfuseousPrime Registered User regular
edited December 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Almost 1 year ago I started in a new position at my company after an extensive interview process. I was really happy, as it was with an up and coming division in the company, thus setting me up on the fast track for lots of future opportunities.

At that time, I received a modest increase(approximately 15 percent) in pay as well as a few other benefits. Through one my other colleagues who interviewed (but did not get the job), I realized that I could have pushed for more (I received a ballpark figure of what they budgeted for the position). I was mildly perturbed at the time but I blew it off for the following reasons:

1) I had no-one to blame but myself for not pushing harder;
2) See Opportunity, listed above;
3) I figured I could give it a year and then ask for more, after I've proven myself.

So here's the catch: this afternoon my boss e-mailed me to let me know that HR wants to move me from a non-exempt to exempt status. Basically what this means is that I'll be moving to a salaried position within the company, become ineligible for overtime, but be given comp days and an extra week of vacation in exchange.

During this e-mail my boss also had some praise for the work that I did, and also told me that they would be generous about OT and comp time. We agreed to talk it over on Tuesday.

I was planning on waiting on Performance Review Season, but does this seem like a good time to open the salary conversation to anybody? My reasoning is that I'd be moving from a position where I'd become eligible to make more money by working more to a position where I wouldn't be able to do that anymore. Since that is the case I'd prefer to be compensated for the change.

Just for context I wanted to throw in the following measures:

1) I don't think that my asking this would put me on any shit lists somewhere assuming I don't behave like a total ass.
2) We just hit our targets for this year (which means that we're very profitable as a unit).
3) I'm fairly well known for being a hard worker and receive decent amounts of praise from various people, all the way up to the VP of our division.

As a corollary, assuming that I do ask, should I mention that I know what they initially budged for the position and that I'm coming in under that?

Apologies in advance for the vagueness, I don't want to mention specifics like salary and position because of the (potentially) sensitive nature of this post.

ConfuseousPrime on

Posts

  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    As a corollary, assuming that I do ask, should I mention that I know what they initially budged for the position and that I'm coming in under that?

    I wouldn't do this. They already know that you're being paid less than what they budgeted, so the only thing that you accomplish by bringing it up is suggesting that you feel cheated. You also run the risk of letting your annoyance about accepting a smaller salary early on shine through, which would hurt your image a little.

    Yes, it is a valid point, but a salary negotiation isn't a debate. Rather, it's about selling yourself, and you do that by concentrating on positive attributes and future prospects rather than missed opportunities and oversights.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited November 2010
    By going from exempt to non-exempt, i assume you mean going from having benefits to having no benefits? In that case, i would definately be asking for a raise as youre costing the company a lot less money in insurance and basic benefits costs, while at the same time having to spend more to have equal coverage. Id take this as an great time to ask for a raise, there really isnt any better.

    If ive got it backwards (ie, youre being given benefits now) then no, thats a horrible time to ask for a raise as theyre basically giving you one even though you dont get the cash in your hands.

    If ive got it all wrong, i have no idea.

    Zeon on
    btworbanner.jpg
    Check out my band, click the banner.
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Seems like a fine time to open the conversation. Worst that could happen is the boss says it's not appropriate to discuss that for this move. I would be sort of tentative, I guess... more of a "I think I've earned a raise, is now the time to discuss that?" than a "You guys owe me more money, chop chop"

    edit: I don't agree with Zeon's conclusion, though it's true you will be costing them more in benefits. The nature of your employment is changing... it's almost a promotion. If you had negotiated aggressively when you came in, and they only grudgingly agreed, then I wouldn't push matters. As it is, it seems a natural time to bring up the salary discussion.

    Powerpuppies on
    sig.gif
  • ConfuseousPrimeConfuseousPrime Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Clarification: Exempt to Non-Exempt refers to eligibility for overtime. So, I'd go from eligible for x1.5 pay for anything over 40 hours to no extra pay for anything over 40. In exchange I'd be able to subtract time later on if I work over 40 one week, and and also be eligible for an extra week of vacation during the year.

    I currently have the regular benefits package through my company (insurance, retirement, ect..) and that doesn't change as I move over.

    Hope that clarifies it a bit!

    ConfuseousPrime on
  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    So the only change is that instead of getting a fixed rate on overtime, you're getting time-in-lieu for overtime? Are you getting a bonus on your time-in-lieu?

    Previously, if you worked 7 days a week, you'd be paid for 8 days (due to the 1.5x overtime).

    If you work 7 days a week under your new contract, it sounds like you'll be paid 5 days and get 2 days off (which is in effect pay for 7 days).

    You'll probably also find that if you're just working an extra 1/2 hour here and and there under a flat salary situation, you're just going to be paid for your core hours unless you've been specifically instructed to work that extra time and have negotiated the time-off beforehand.

    This definitely sounds like they're adjusting the contract in a manner that's not beneficial to you, which makes this a great time to talk about increasing your base salary to compensate.

    soxbox on
  • JNighthawkJNighthawk Registered User
    edited November 2010
    You're going from non-exempt to exempt, not the other way around. In both your title and posts, you swap back and forth.

    An extra week of vacation amounts to a ~2% raise, so factor that in as well.

    JNighthawk on
    Game programmer
  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited November 2010
    Id say if youre underpaid then yes, its a good time to ask because youre going to definately be picking up "extra" hours for free in this situation.

    Are you also moving from hourly to salary? Thats the only way to become exempt from overtime, as far as ive ever heard.

    Powerpuppies, the only reason im saying its a bad time to ask is youre basically getting a 30% raise (thats the average cost of benefits for an hourly worker, ~30% of their salary). So asking for more money ontop of medical and pension and all the other extra bonuses you get when getting benefits really would seem greedy.

    Zeon on
    btworbanner.jpg
    Check out my band, click the banner.
  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Zeon wrote: »
    Id say if youre underpaid then yes, its a good time to ask because youre going to definately be picking up "extra" hours for free in this situation.

    Are you also moving from hourly to salary? Thats the only way to become exempt from overtime, as far as ive ever heard.

    Powerpuppies, the only reason im saying its a bad time to ask is youre basically getting a 30% raise (thats the average cost of benefits for an hourly worker, ~30% of their salary). So asking for more money ontop of medical and pension and all the other extra bonuses you get when getting benefits really would seem greedy.

    It probably depends on who you're asking for more money. Many of my past bosses would have been unlikely to see someone asking for what they're due as greedy, even if they're getting a lot and asking for more. They would take the extra second to see what he's asking for is reasonable and then shrug and make a decision, but it wouldn't reflect badly on him.

    Powerpuppies on
    sig.gif
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Zeon wrote: »
    Id say if youre underpaid then yes, its a good time to ask because youre going to definately be picking up "extra" hours for free in this situation.

    Are you also moving from hourly to salary? Thats the only way to become exempt from overtime, as far as ive ever heard.

    Powerpuppies, the only reason im saying its a bad time to ask is youre basically getting a 30% raise (thats the average cost of benefits for an hourly worker, ~30% of their salary). So asking for more money ontop of medical and pension and all the other extra bonuses you get when getting benefits really would seem greedy.

    He already said earlier that he's already getting the normal benefits package. Given that, it seems like it would seem to be an appropriate time to bring it up, depending on how many hours they usually had you work.

    Spoit on
    steam_sig.png
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Typically salaried people make a bit more than hourly folks. It sounds like a "promotion" in a loose sense, definitely bring up the work you've done, and say you feel your compensation should reflect it, or something like that. Worst thing they will say is no.

    Dr. Frenchenstein on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Yes, if going from hourly to salary, definitely ask for a pay raise. Be prepared to start looking for a new job when they tell you to stuff it and they haven't budgeted for it. Mainly because they're probably doing this to save themselves money.

    If you do take the salaried position at what they offer (for an increase barely over inflation) be prepared to ask for a clear outline of your responsibilities and hours. I've seen people get shafted badly when moved from hourly to salary because they had a 2nd job or something where they really couldn't work the non-paid overtime. And for some reason the overtime never went away and increased. So, be careful about that.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    yeah do you work a lot of overtime? do you count on that in your paychecks?

    Dr. Frenchenstein on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    This is a perfect time to at least open the negotiations. A major job status change is always the obvious time to bring up salary, and it seems like a reasonable time to make the argument. Don't be surprised if they don't go for it, though. Lots of companies are freezing pay. (The Federal government is about to as well.)

    The number one biggest rule when negotiating for a raise is this: Don't ask for more money because you want it. Don't ask for more money because you know the company can afford it. Ask for more money because you're an awesome asset to your company, and you know they want to encourage excellence and success like what you bring. Which means: Pitch it by talking about the strides you've made and what you do for the company. Don't pitch it as a benefit to yourself.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • ConfuseousPrimeConfuseousPrime Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I don't typically work much overtime, but as you see there are occasional weeks where I pull in some extra time on Saturday and Sunday. I don't depend on it to live, but of course more money is nice.

    I think at this time it might be prudent to throw in one more extraneous detail. Mid way through the year I had a situation where I needed to move halfway across the country. This put me from an office position to a work from home position (job title or duties did not change). Since it was a pretty big concession on their part (at least as far as I can tell), I was thinking it might be in bad taste to push for more.

    Maybe that's just my imagination making that a bigger deal than it is though.

    ConfuseousPrime on
  • ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    It sounds like you have no down side for asking for more. You already said this would not put you on a shit list. So, go for it.

    Don't just go in and say, hey i want some more money though. It too easy for them to say, "I am sure you do" and "no"

    Have some justifications with you. What have you done above and beyond your pay that would qualify you for more cash? Be specific. Have you saved any money for the department, facilitated their hitting their goal early in a specific way that sets you apart?

    Are you taking on any new responsibilities? Or are you just looking for more money for the same job? The fact that you accepted less then you could have gotten does not mean that you just deserve more.

    Thundyrkatz on
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I'd say ask as long as you have some data to back it up.

    Unless it's a super shitty company, they won't hold it against you for asking. If you don't get more, salary is still a better deal. You'll be amazed at how great it is to not be held to the mighty clock. Come in a few minutes late? no problem - stay a few minutes more. Want to take a long lunch on a slow day? no problem!

    MichaelLC on
    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • ConfuseousPrimeConfuseousPrime Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for all the input. I think I'm going to bring it up -- carefully. Being one of the early members of the division, I think I can make a case that I'm partially responsible for our current situation.

    ConfuseousPrime on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    I'd say ask as long as you have some data to back it up.

    Unless it's a super shitty company, they won't hold it against you for asking. If you don't get more, salary is still a better deal. You'll be amazed at how great it is to not be held to the mighty clock. Come in a few minutes late? no problem - stay a few minutes more. Want to take a long lunch on a slow day? no problem!

    Most companies are still bitch about this. Which is why salary is almost always a bad idea unless it's more money and you ask for flex time (doesn't even have to be major flex time, just if you come in an hour late or something).

    Though one of the other reasons I see companies do this is because of telecommuting. They can't keep track of the time of telecommuters as well as they thought they could, or, they can't really make sure about the time.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • PailryderPailryder Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    i recently ran into this situation with one of my employees. he moved into my department because of his great work performance but he was non-exempt and usually working 2-4 hours overtime each week. The position i needed him in was exempt and so he would not be eligible for the OT but he would become eligible for a bonus option on a quarterly basis, via performance review. In the end, I felt from the companies perspective it was a total salary increase but he was concerned that his bi-weekly paycheck was really more.

    He brought up his concerns in a professional manner and we worked it out so that he would stay non-exempt through the end of the year so that he could make arrangements to prepare for the exempt status and the salary adjustment.

    Being professional and expressing your concerns are always welcome in a professional setting. If your boss isn't professional then i would hold off, otherwise go for it.

    Pailryder on
  • ConfuseousPrimeConfuseousPrime Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Thanks all. Had the discussion today, and I can report some success. We'll need to proceed to escalate to HR at this point. Please feel free to lock.

    ConfuseousPrime on
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'm quitting a job because I work 5 14 hour shifts on salary, which drives my hourly rate from the 20 I was hired at to +- 11

    so yeah, get your licks in if you can because salary is often a screwjob

    JohnnyCache on
Sign In or Register to comment.