In a recent TikTok, an employee says that he hasn’t received a pay increase or promotion at the job he’s worked at for a year and a half.
In the video, which has garnered over 404,000 views, marketing professional and content creator Kenneth Maxwell (@kenmaxborn) shares why he plans to meet with his boss later in the week to discuss what he sees as a deserved and overdue pay increase.
“I work in marketing. I’ve worked at this company for 18 months. I have gotten no cost of living adjustment, merit increase, promotion, nothing over that 18 months. I have gotten absolutely zero changes to my compensation,” Maxwell begins.
Maxwell makes it clear he’s aware of the claims that the job market is in bad shape and that workers should be happy to have a job at all, but he says it doesn’t take away from what he deserves.
“I’m not buying that,” he says flatly. “I feel like you need to create an incentive for me to stay if you want me to continue working hard and being happy.”
He then shares what he plans to say to his boss in the upcoming meeting. “The language that I am going to use in this one-on-one is, ‘You do not accept zero percent growth for our clients; why are you asking me to accept zero percent growth for myself?’”
“I don’t know how that’s going to go, but I felt like it was pretty powerful language. Feel free to use it,” Maxwell says as he ends the video.
“Zero changes in compensation is a pay cut without any adjustments for cost of living,” one viewer declared in the comments section.
Inflation has continued to rise in the United States, though much slower than in previous years. According to AP News, Americans can expect an inflation rise of 3.4% in 2024, which is the lowest peak since Spring 2021—and just half of the 6.8% highest peak to date in June 2022.
As the cost of living rises and employers fail to respond with a payment increase, workers are essentially being asked to do their jobs for less.
“I work in marketing too. Same situation. Going on 22 months with no raises , and they recently cut health insurance benefits. It’s a de facto pay cut,” a second viewer shared.
“My job gives us raises every 6-12 months. It’s not the job market, they’re taking advantage,” another viewer assured.
“He pretty much said we haven’t had a conversation about my merit increase yet because of the business needs and the climate and everything being frozen for the last couple of cycles,” Maxwell shares. He continues to say his boss said he hopes to have a “more positive conversation” with him about his compensation in March.
He encouraged viewers to still use the language he offered in the first video regarding not accepting zero percent growth for themselves, as he felt the language was effective in his conversation and could be for others.
“I think these companies get away with ripping us off a lot, and we should be really confident and direct in saying, ‘That’s not OK. Give me what I deserve, thank you.’”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Maxwell via Instagram direct message for more information.