would it be unethical to leave work if they cannot afford my demands?

In my contract I am tasked to be an iOS dev but lately I have been asked other responsibilities like web and android development. In regards to that, I have requested that I be compensated with the extra responsibilities. However my employer said they could not afford my new requested salary because they have just lost a big client and things aren’t working pretty well in the company right now.

They did promise to increase my salary by 15% upon renewal of our other customer. And my current project is actually for that customer. given the company’s current situation would it be an a**-hole move if I leave them and of course I will need to render 1 month for the transition period after my resignation.

  • 1
    Will that employer think one second about throwing you under the boss if the situation is opposite? If you tell them that you need to pay the rent and feed your wife and children, will that impress them in any way? I don't think so.
    – gnasher729
    Apr 1, 2015 at 7:33
  • Hold on, I think you are looking at me like I want to quit the job because Im crying over salary not granted. The point is that I want to be rightly compensated for the extra work that is not in my contract. And the 15% is a promise based on our customer's decision. So its a hit or miss. 15% is okay for me given that I have a good relationship with my employer. Also to mention that I am being paid at 60% only of what my job is supposed to be paid for in the current market.
    – SleepNot
    Apr 1, 2015 at 7:41
  • Q1 - if you leave your current position, what makes you think you can get an offer as high as you'd like from another employer. Q2 - if you do have an offer of X+15% from another employer, there's probably a way to negotiate to see if your current employer can meet that offer. This is not really an "asshole move" it is called "doing business".
    – Brandin
    Apr 1, 2015 at 8:08
  • @gnasher729: the phrase is "throwing you under the bus" not "boss"!
    – smci
    May 18, 2015 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


Employment is a mutual arrangement - you agree to part with your time and efforts in return for cash - which can be renegotiated at any time. In that sense it is not unethical to ask for more, nor is it unethical to give notice if you don't get it. However, doing so may have consequences - you may get perceived as a mercenary who cares more for the salary than the good of the company, your employer can say no and leave you in an awkward position (If it's a bluff and is called, what next? Are you prepared to carry out your implied threat to leave?), you may find yourself pushed up the redundancy list should things go sour, you may find it more difficult than you think to land a better alternative.

Having said that, if the company has genuinely lost a big deal which they were relying on, and that offer of 15% is in writing, then your timing is pretty atrocious. Is 15% not enough to keep you? Because in the circumstances it sounds like they are doing their best to keep you happy. And we work in a small world - if you leave a sour taste behind, potential employers will very likely hear of it.

  • Thanks. Your point of leaving a sour taste behind makes sense. 15% is not enough to keep me considering the extra work from my initial contract. I haven't also said or threatened them that I will be leaving, in fact what I told them at that time was Im going to see how it goes.
    – SleepNot
    Apr 1, 2015 at 7:43

When you say 'extra responsibility' do you mean additional workload(moving from 1 to 2 concurrent projects) ? or simply the same workload with different skill-sets (so still having a single project at a time but with multiple technologies) .

If it is the former then I would say definitely dig in your heels and move on if they do not offer more money simply because now you need 12 hours each day to complete your work which previously took 6.

If it is simply being asked that you work with different technologies then what you were initially employed then you should actually be pretty happy that they allow you to work with different technologies in a professional context.

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