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I am currently working at a job where my initial trial term will run out soon (I signed a contract that covered a set period of time which has elapsed). I have talked to my employer and they have explicitly expressed a desire to hire me formally, but brushed it off somewhat and said that they were very busy and probably wouldn't have an offer in time for the expiry date, and my reading is that they definitely do want to hire me, they just don't see doing the paperwork as something urgent.

This was also laced with talk about not giving me the money the new position ordinarily commands until some new contracts come through, which is a separate issue entirely.

I guess I could boil my problem down into a few discrete questions:

  1. What do I do on day +1 of contract expiration?
  2. What is the polite way to express discomfort with keeping my salary flat, and is it possible to negotiate a guaranteed increase after a certain date, or other terms of that nature to protect myself?
  3. I have another job offer for the salary the position they would be hiring me in carries at another company, what is the polite, business friendly way to say "If no pay increase is forthcoming, I will move on"?

I like this job, but I feel as though the people who hired me think they can get away with some things because I'm not a confrontational person, I could use some advice.

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    Personally I give them 40 hours and walk. If you are paid every two weeks and and pay is 1 week late then walk. – paparazzo Oct 30 '16 at 19:48
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    The problem isn't that I don't think they are going to pay me. If pay stopped I'd have no moral qualms about leaving. I think they just want to tacitly continue paying me the same like I was still an intern, and drag their feet actually giving me fulltime pay. – Chris Oct 30 '16 at 19:55
  • I'm in the US, but in a fairly liberal state, so there may be labor laws. – Chris Oct 30 '16 at 21:52
  • IIRC, I've never had any formal contract. Just fill out IRS/HR paperwork & perhaps sign a NDA. – jamesqf Oct 31 '16 at 6:12
  • If you work for them, then their insurance likely convers you, regardless of contract. Even if not, what do you care? Whether they have insurance or not doesn't determine whether they're responsible for you or not. Most people don't work under any sort of contract in the U.S. – Kat Oct 31 '16 at 7:46
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What do I do on day +1 of contract expiration?

That's up to you. Assuming you'll continue to get your current payrate, you get to decide if you have other options that are better for you or not.

If it were me, and I needed the money, I'd continue working and get less pay than I'd prefer rather than stop working and get no pay at all. But at the same time I'd be working very hard to find a job that would pay me what I'm worth.

What is the polite way to express discomfort with keeping my salary flat, and is it possible to negotiate a guaranteed increase after a certain date, or other terms of that nature to protect myself?

You can negotiate anything you are willing to work for.

You already talked with them (I assume politely). And you didn't get what you wanted right away. You could talk to them again and say that you aren't happy. But it doesn't sound like they care. I'd be surprised if they would give you a guaranteed increase after a certain date, if they aren't even willing to talk salary with you at all.

I have another job offer for the salary the position they would be hiring me in carries at another company, what is the polite, business friendly way to say "If no pay increase is forthcoming, I will move on"?

Well, you could throw a mild threat their way by saying you have another job offer, that you'd like to stay, but that you have to go where the money is.

But don't say that unless you are actually willing to leave.

  • The problem is less that I think they're messing with me, and more that they're very busy and don't see this as a priority. I think that if I waited 2-3 weeks they'd give me a reasonable offer and be willing to talk terms, but I am very uncomfortable with working with no employment contract for any period of time for legal reasons. If I trip and fall at their workplace, they are not covered by insurance because I am not an employee until they sign something saying I'm an employee. – Chris Oct 30 '16 at 21:52
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    Why would retention of a valued employee not be a priority? Are they stupid? If they're that stupid, why do you want to keep working for them? Honestly, what I'm seeing is one company has a contract ready, one doesn't. I tend to just go for actual results and not a pie in the sky. – Nelson Oct 31 '16 at 1:55
  • If you work for them, then their insurance likely convers you, regardless of contract. Even if not, what do you care? Whether they have insurance or not doesn't determine whether they're responsible for you or not. Most people don't work under any sort of contract in the U.S. – Kat Oct 31 '16 at 7:49
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    If they don't consider paying their employees "a priority", you might be better off with the other offer. "We'll talk about paying you properly in another 3 weeks" is a major red flag imho. – Erik Oct 31 '16 at 8:35
  • +1 "If it were me, and I needed the money, I'd continue working and get less pay than I'd prefer rather than stop working and get no pay at all. " - always consider the alternatives. – WorkerDrone Nov 1 '16 at 11:52

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