I’m earning less than my predecessor — what can I do?

I’ve been promoted and received a raise, but I’ve discovered that my predecessor made more than me. Obviously, the company could have done more. How should I handle this?

Were you satisfied with the compensation that was offered to you for the role? Because if you were, then discovering that you predecessor was paid more doesn’t necessarily change the equation or the value for you. There are several reasons why your predecessor could have been earning more. They could have been with the company a long time, or had more experience. The company may have decided to refill the position with someone who had less experience and more room to grow. Or, the financial model for the company has changed and they now can’t afford to pay the same. The only two points that matter are: How are you being paid relative to the company’s similar executives? And how are you being paid for your role relative to your value on the market? How you are being paid compared to a predecessor is less relevant. You could discuss it with your boss just to hear the explanation, but I wouldn’t approach with self-righteous indignation.

I was hired on the basis that I could work remotely, which was why I took the job. Now I have a new boss who says that I have to be back in the office or lose my job. What are my rights?

The company has the right to revise terms and conditions of employment. You have the right to remain silent and acquiesce to their wishes, or you have the right to refuse and lose your job. However, in this case you would likely be entitled to the same benefits and unemployment compensation as if you had been laid off, since this is a material change in the terms and conditions of your employment. There is a third option that I would recommend trying first. Your new boss may not know how productive you have been working remotely. Explain your situation, how you work and are delivering value and ask the boss to allow you to continue working remotely on a trial basis. If he agrees, you may change his mind — and in the meantime you can start looking for a new gig, just in case.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive. Hear Greg Weds. at 9:35 a.m. on iHeartRadio 710 WOR with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. E-mail: [email protected] Follow: GoToGreg.com and on
Twitter: @GregGiangrande