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Can My Job Description Be Changed Without an Increase in My Salary?

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Your employer has every right to make changes in all aspects of its organizational structure-including job titles-as the company changes. According to a July 2012 article by Jacquelyn Smith of "Forbes" magazine, if a company wants to change, the workers will need to learn to change as well. You may have responsibilities taken away, or you may have additional tasks added to your job description. If your job description changes with added responsibilities, there are a few things you can do that may get you an increase in salary.

At-Will Employment

At-will employment means you or your employer can terminate the relationship at any time unless you have a contract that prohibits it. A contractual employee is someone who has been hired for a specific time period and for an agreed-upon wage. If you do not have a contract, your employee may legally change your job description without a change in salary.

Know Your Worth

In some cases, you may feel like your new job description deserves an increase in pay because it is different from what you have been doing. Research other positions with your job description and find out what the normal salary or hourly wage is. Talk with someone at your local labor department or check the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Standards for your specific job. Compare the listed salary with what you are making now. Request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss what you have found and ask for an increase.

Evaluations as a Bargaining Tool

Ask for a raise or a job re-evaluation if you feel you aren't being paid what you are worth. In a December 2007 article in the "The New York Times," columnist Eilene Zimmerman suggested that you make a list of your accomplishments since your last evaluation. Approach your boss with exact numbers on how you helped the company grow or how your job has changed. Provide him with the average salary of others in your field. Don't give your boss a list of your personal responsibilities as a plea for a larger salary. Instead, use your list of responsibilities as the reason you deserve an increase.

Suggestions for Adapting

Remain positive if your job responsibilities have increased – without a pay increase – or decreased. You are probably not the only one who has experienced change, and your boss may be watching you to see how well you can adjust. He may also think you can handle the added responsibilities until the company can hire someone else to help you. Or, her may know that your responsibilities may increase in the future. Speak to your manager about how long the situation will last. If you think you are being taken advantage of, remember you can always look for another job if things do not improve.


Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.

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