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Suppose a contract job advertises a salary range between $60,000-$75,000 per year. Note that the job is "at will", meaning that the company can let go an employee for no reason. Suppose the company ups the salary (e.g. to $80,000) if a prospective job employee asks for it.

Is this just a way of the company to attract a candidate knowing that they can let go of the employee at any time? Why would a company up the salary so easily without any opposition?

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2 Answers 2

Is this just a way of the company to attract a candidate knowing that they can let go of the employee at any time?

Since the job was "at will", they could always let the employee go at any time. Thus, the salary increase isn't likely a consequence of that ability.

Why would a company up the salary so easily without any opposition?

I'm not sure what "without any opposition" means in this context.

If you mean that you asked for and received $80k, then it's likely that they simply wanted you, and felt like you were worth the extra money. Be happy.

If instead you mean that the company increased the advertised salary to $80k, then it likely means that they weren't finding sufficiently-talented candidates at the lower rate, and are trying to match what the market will bear. If you are qualified - again, be happy.

You seem suspicious for some reason. I'm not sure your suspicions are warranted.

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Because I feel like it's too good to be true. In a job that is not at will, one has to go through a process to lay you off (e.g PIP). So maybe that is why they are upping the salary. –  newjobguy Aug 17 at 22:33
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Most states have "at-will" employment for full-time employees also. There's only a few that actually have laws protecting the employee from being dismissed at any time, for any reason (other than legally protected classes of reasons e.g. discrimination). It just so happens that many companies have internal policies that cover severance packages and processes for releasing people. But for the most part those aren't legally required policies. They are actually part of your benefits package. –  Dunk Aug 19 at 17:47

As an HR manager in a small business I can tell you that if we advertised a job for a specific salary, we sometime don't get enough candidates responding. In that case we will up the offer to a candidate we like when he asks for it, in order to attract him.

As an employer in California we can lay an employee off if we want anyway. We can legally lay someone off simply for incompatibility to the company, of course it can't be for a discriminatory reason or for other reasons stated in the law as illegal, as a person in FMLA (family or medical leave) so that is not an affecting factor on the hiring salary.

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