Anniversary Date

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about delay in raise:

I work at a small NY law firm (7 lawyers, 2 secretaries, receptionist, librarian and office manager) and have worked for the same partner for over 25 years (15 at the former firm and the balance at the new firm bearing his name). Since I started at the new firm my anniversary date has been July 27. I have not yet received my increase this year and when I discussed this with my boss he said that I would be getting an increase but he hasn’t had time to deal with it and “I would be receiving it retroactively so what’s the problem.”

I asked him if he was doing this because “the other people in the office are reviewed in December.” He said “that would be better ….” I said that in that case I should get the increase I’m entitled to for the current year and then in December I should receive another increase; otherwise I’d be waiting an additional five months for my next increase – 17 months. The other people he would be considering are here far less time than I am (1 year). I think this is totally unfair. If I were to become disabled, my social security would be based on what my earnings are to date – not money I haven’t received yet.

By telling me this, to me he is sending me the message that I’m not important enough to be considered separately; that I should just be lumped in with all of the other people. He also feels I would not be entitled to anything else but this year’s increase and would have to wait for an additional raise next December. Your opinion would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Signed, No Flowers

Dear No Flowers:

I believe that you are a very dependable, capable, and loyal employee. Your 25 year tenure with him certainly indicates that. You have probably prepared many letters, memos and other documents for your boss, he would read, edit/revise, and return to you to prepare the final document. That is exactly what I would do in this situation. You have already discussed the matter with him; he has told you that the pay will be retroactive. He indicates that the delay is to put you in sinc with the other employees.

Spell out the facts in the memo – stating when the review was due, when the raise would be due, how the review due should change in December thus another raise. Of course, the memo you are preparing/writing will be from HIM to YOU. Now present it to him for approval with any changes he wants to make. Then make a final copy, get signatures, and put it in the file. Remind him in December. Also, if there is a written evaluation given of your performance at the time of the raise, prepare a self-evaluation on the appropriate forms, and give to him with the final memo.

Explain that you did the evaluation to help him save time – just being thoughtful and helpful. I do not believe he is being inconsiderate to you on purpose; this appears to be simply a scheduling matter; not a high priority on his list (though it is on yours). You hang in there as you have done for many years. Goods things will happen. Good luck.

Gerald Allen