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By timestaff
May 20, 2009

Question: My boss recently laid off a lot of people. As a result, she’s given me much more responsibility – but no raise and no better title. Is this fair? She says she won’t promote me until she sees how I do.

Answer: Call it a wild guess, but we’re betting your boss didn’t lay those people off just to be mean. We agree that in a perfect world, an increase in responsibility should be accompanied by a bump in pay. But today’s economy is anything but perfect. When organizations are forced to reduce their payrolls, many prefer to minimize layoffs rather than cut even more jobs to increase the compensation of workers who remain. In making that tradeoff, employers aren’t behaving unethically, even if some employees (like you) may deserve a raise.

As for the promotion, though, we’re on your side. Assuming the payroll’s frozen, your boss should try to reward you in other ways. A better job title is a good place to start.

Questions? Email Money Magazine’s ethicists – authors of “Isn’t It Their Turn to Pick Up the Check?” (Free Press) – at FlemingandSchwarz@right-thing.net.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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