Big Pay Cuts

Posted September 18, 2013
By Clay Cerny

A client told me a sad story today.  He has worked for a large retail company as an Assistant Manager for over 8 years.  He currently makes $25 dollars per hour in a managerial role.  Next month his position will be eliminated and replaced by one making $11-$14 dollars per hour.  In addition to this big pay cut, the company is increasing the position's responsibilities.  My client could not accept such a demotion, and he gave notice.  Some would say that no one should quit a job before securing another.  Given the changes in his company, my client felt he had nothing to lose.  He is confident he can find a job that will pay him more than $14 per hour.

This story surprised me only in the degree of the pay cut.  Since 2008, clients have told horror stories about pay cuts, furlough days, changes in commission, and increased health care contributions.  While pay increases go to the top of the income scale, the middle class and lower wage workers keep facing greater and greater stress.  This trend cannot continue, or we will learn what our grandparents and great-grandparents went through in the 1930s.  "Brother, can you spare a dime?"