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requesting a signficant pay raise

by Ken Junk
(Denver, CO)

I have been working virtually unsupervised for 22 months. I have been doing bug fixes and feature enhancements for a specialized web application. I have never received negative feedback until meeting with the CEO over an email that I specified I wanted a approximately 40% pay increase implying that I would be inclined to go else where at some point. I stated I wanted to discuss the matter with the CEO alone and at least get a number from him of what was acceptable. I originally was to have a conversation with the new VP about this but the new VP ignored the topic and would not discuss numbers with me thus I wanted to discuss this with the CEO. When talking to the CEO was when I was told the CIO and new VP did not think I coded fast enough.

Now I must meet with the CEO this afternoon and either Resign and get a small severance package or be terminated. He implied that they may have just cause possibly because of my request for a raise seemed a bit strong yet he even admitted that it was clear I had no ill intent by it. I stated if I left the company it would have a negative financial impact trying to replace me. This amoungst the positive things I have done for them in the 22 months that I've been there.

I've been a model employee quietly doing my work all along. I have not done anything malicious or anything to harm the company. All my software releases have been successful and the system is stable (which is critical for their application).

I'm puzzled by all this. They do routinely fire employees but usually they go through a long process of coaching etc... This is not my case. The have no written policies on using the computers. We are free to surf and have personal pictures on our computers etc...

Hi Ken,

Now I'm just curious as to what you decided to do.

Asking for a raise is not misconduct and if they present the option to quit with a small severance or be fired without one .. it is a quit in lieu of discharge for unemployment purposes. Especially if your resignation letter reflects the actual circumstances for tendering it.

Now, on the other hand, given the subtantial raise you were asking for and by your own admission that you eluded to the fact that you would probably be moving on if you didn't get it .. it could be argued that it was in fact a "constructive quit" in as much as you didn't leave the employer any choice.

If you want to discuss this later on .. contact me.

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