I have been working for this startup company for almost two years with no pay increase. I was the 3rd employee on, we now are over 110. Since I started I have received greater responsibility and now manager 3 people. I received a title chance to _____ _____ Manager. With that title change and greater responsibility I presumed I would have gotten a raise as well. When I inquired about this I encountered a very angry CFO who refused to increase my salary and has no time frame for when a raise may come. I was promised multiple times by another executive that I would have received an increase by now, instead, he passed the responsibility on the the CFO.

I would understand if we were cash strapped as a company, but we're not. I know many other people who have gotten increases, yet I have not. Because I was the 3rd employee on, I helped build this company and implement great software and practices that everyone in my department loves. I get along great with everybody and am one of our hardest workers.

Any suggestions on what I should do moving forward?

  • 3
    Do you have equity? If so, they may feel that the increase in the value of your equity offsets the lack of a raise – cdkMoose Oct 10 '19 at 17:55

Any suggestions on what I should do moving forward?

Find a new company to work for.

If the person responsible for giving you a raise became angry at the idea of giving you a raise and refused to give you a raise, that is a sign that you should not be working for your current company. Also, the fact that over the years you have been given additional responsibilities and title yet were not financially compensated is another red flag for this company. Polish up your resume and start searching for a new company that will pay you what you are worth.

  • Equity should get special mention, it may be that by leaving they leave thousands of $ in equity on the table and this can even be a rouse by the CFO to get rid of people with large chunks of unvested equity now that they re not as integral(growing from 3 to 110 people). – Leon Oct 11 '19 at 6:36
  • While I agree with your answer, I am not sure if additional responsibilities should be seen as something worth a raise. For example, some companies mention mock promotion etc. during which people are actually supposed to take up additional responsibilities to "prove" to higher up that they are capable of performing at that level. Then, higher up employees can conveniently decide to reject promotion and they have to "prove" it again. So, that becomes unpaid and yet, of high quality management. – Prasad Raghavendra Oct 14 '19 at 13:58

Given that you are the 3rd person to join the company, I'd assume a good relationship with the CEO, and go direct to ask about the raise. Then make up my mind what to do after that.

In the normal course of things you're definitely entitled to a raise.

A lot depends on the type of startup, if it's a funding mine then they won't care.

Usually you don't bypass the hierarchy, but it can be done successfully and if you're thinking you might leave, then you have little to lose.

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