I approached HR for a raise at my current company. I enjoy working with my team and doing things, but I'm feeling a bit underpaid with respect to my duties and the current market value.
HR offered me two possibilities:
- Raising yearly income to $X; no caveats, but below the average market value.
- Raising yearly income to $X and agreeing on staying at the company for a fixed N number of years, in exchange of $Y yearly raises for each of the N years. If you leave before N years from the agreement, you have to give back all of the $Y raises. Let's say $Y is currently 10% of the $X offered and income would match market value.
Just to give some random numbers in 3 years. Base salary is 100k, increase is 20k for each year, you get 120k for the first year, 140k for the second year, 160k for the third year. If you leave before these three years, you have to give back all of the 20k raises.
Personally I don't like this option. I think that giving back raises when leaving is absolutely not fair. One should be free to leave for any reason, including but not limited to money. For this reason, I'm about to refuse this kind of raise formula and trying to negotiate on a higher conventional raise.
It would be great to continue in my current company, but I'm concerned by the fact that refusing to make this mid-term commit would kill my career path here, which is important to me in order to stay. Is this a fair concern? Is there actually a point in further negotiating after refusing this raise formula or should I start looking elsewhere?
As a side note, my current contract says I can leave at any time without any sort of constraint.
Edit: Answering to some of the comments.
This is based in EU (Italy). At least here, clauses like these lie outside the scope of the work contract and must be signed in some kind of written agreement by both parties.
To some asking for giving back money including taxes: raises are given including taxes, so they expect to be given back them, so yes, I should give back the raises including taxes. I'm not sure about the implications on my yearly income, though.
I'll definitely talk to a lawyer, should I consider this offer. I was quite reluctant at first, but at this stage, accepting it seems just not worth it, and reading all your thoughts have been helping clearing my mind.