Only Getting Raises to Meet the Overtime Exempt Minimum. Should I leave?
October 8,2020 at 8:20PM UTC
I'm wrapping up my 4th year in a job that's...it's just okay these days. I'm the sole expert in my division in a couple of different areas, which means that my superiors rely on me a lot. When I first got the job, I was promoted within 6 months to fill a opening in the areas in which I now hold expertise. Essentially, in doing so they combined my old responsibilities with another person's full-time responsibilities. With the promotion for the new work (which I had been doing starting 3 months into my hiring), I got a pay raise...to 1 dollar over the overtime exempt rate. I had previously been a classified staff putting in an avg 50-60 hours a week.
Several years have passed since then, and I've made great strides, growth, and achievements while working there, including winning system wide awards. but I haven't seen a single promotion or raise since--except when the law changes. When I advocated for my promotion, citing evidence for how my responsibilities have evolved and thus should be recategorized, I was told that that the division head said that we have no need for that type of position in our organization. On top of this, my supervisor sent me this again this morning:
"New rules for the State of Washington changed the salary determination for employees to be overtime exempt and since you do not meet the salary you would be eligible for overtime. However, we are only able to allow comp time, not payment for overtime, because of our budget. So, [division head] and I decided to raise your salary so that you meet the exempt requirement."
Is this not a message that the state values my labor more than my boss does? Should I be looking for another job? I feel like I'm supposed to smile and thank my supervisor for this, but it feels like a massive 'screw you'. Like, they're figuring out how to work me as much as possible while paying me as little as the state allows and I'm supposed to be grateful? It's a pandemic, so job searching feels especially scary, so I don't want to be hasty in leaving a secure position.
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