Before You Hand Back Your Key Fob

I suspect we all know a number of people in procurement, inventory management and other areas of the business who have had their overall remuneration reduced in their current positions over the past months. This process is typically pitched as temporary – "until things improve". Reductions occur through percentage salary cuts, reduced employer benefit contributions, expense reimbursement and other methods as well.

Inevitably, at least some who have experienced these cut backs will be laid-off before things turnaround for their employers. When this happens, one's compensation at termination becomes a "comp" -- as real estate appraisers call it -- when it comes to assessing your prior worth to prospective new employers. One piece of advice I would suggest here is to consider having a simple contract ready as part of your release that your terminating employer will state your historical salary and benefits as your ending compensation since the reductions you previously accepted were part of your contribution to help the company survive -- not representative of your true compensation.

It may not pass legal muster but it's worth a shot. Most managers should find it hard to deny. Spend and income both matter.

- William Busch, Spend Matters Columnist

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