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How to Handle a Pay Cut 如何应对减薪

Perhaps you've noticed that business has slowed down around your office, which could be a sign that your company has fallen on toughtimes. The good news, you learn, is that you still have a job. Butbefore you can say, "Whew," you learn the bad news: Your salary isbeing reduced。


Make No Acception 不接受

When your supervisor breaks the news to you about your pay cut, donot accept anything immediately. In other words, refrain from conveyingany type of agreement, either verbally or in writing. If pushed, youmay say something to the effect of "This is a lot to process right now.I need to think about this and discuss it with my family this evening."


What you want to do is buy yourself some time. Why? You need to findout all the facts surrounding a salary reduction before you accept it.A pay cut can affect your future severance package and compensation forunused sick or vacation days as those numbers are usually calculatedbased on your current salary -- as are unemployment benefits. Also, thereduced compensation could affect salary negotiations with futureemployers as your last salary of record could be significantly lessthan what you are really worth。


Just the Facts 查清事实

Once you're no longer reeling from the shock, go on a fact-finding mission. Questions to ask your superiors include:


1) Is this a mandatory or voluntary pay cut?

这次减薪是强制的还是自愿的?2) How much will your pay be lowered by?


3) Who else is affected by the pay cut?


4) How long will the pay cut last?


5) Could there be retroactive reimbursement?


6) How will this affect raises, bonuses and benefits?


7) Are you going to have to work longer hours or take on additional tasks?


8) What are the company's plans to turn things around?


Questions to ask yourself include:


1) How much do you need this job?


2) Do you have faith that the company will recover from this setback?


3) Can you trust what your superiors are telling you?


4) Is it time to move on?


After gathering information outwardly and inwardly, you may want tospeak with an employment attorney to explore all of your legal optionsand your rights。


It Pays to Negotiate 谈判是值得的

Once you know the facts and think you may wish to continue at yourcurrent job, see if you can negotiate to make the pay cut morepalatable to you。


Some areas to negotiate can include your weekly hours and where youwork. Suggest a reduced schedule, such as a four-day workweek. Or tryto arrange to telecommute to reduce your commuting costs。


You can also negotiate around stock options, if you still believethe company is viable -- and valuable. If you don't have any stockoptions, ask for some. If you have some, try to get more. If you're notsure what the shares are worth and where the company is headed, do someresearch。


Finally, ask the company for a written agreement around the salarycut, when your old pay rate might be reinstated and if there will beany recompense for lost wages. Your supervisor may balk, but if youwork for a small company, you may be able to negotiate this。


Exit Stage Left 是离开的时候了

If at the end of your fact-finding and negotiating you feelcornered, remember: you're not. You still have choices and options.However, to exercise any of them, you may need to consult with anemployment attorney or your local unemployment office。


Because most people are employed "at will," you or your employer canend the arrangement at any time and your salary can be lowered, as longas it is done for a legitimate business reason. But, if your pay hasbeen cut by an unreasonable percentage, you may be able to quit andstill collect unemployment benefits. Rules vary from state to state;check with your local unemployment office before you do anything。


If you have an employment contract, you may be able to refuse thecut altogether or at least quit and collect unemployment, but only ifthe contract states terms of compensation and says that your employercannot alter the terms without your consent. The pay cut couldconstitute a breach of contract and an attorney can help you negotiatethe terms of your release or fight for your full pay。


Finally, you can temporarily agree to the pay cut, update yourresume. Begin applying for new jobs immediately and look forward to thefuture with a different employer。


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