After a takeover, a worker finds getting one free treat on Fridays instead of a raise insulting.

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Q: After our small business was sold to a large corporation, all salaries were immediately frozen. On a recent visit, our new CEO said this freeze was permanent and there would be no raises for the foreseeable future.

However, to show how much he cares, the CEO has now arranged for a frozen lemonade truck to come by every Friday. We each get one free lemonade pop. Does this guy not see that giving us treats instead of raises is insulting?

A: As many have learned before you, nothing is certain after an acquisition. You are now working for an entirely different company. And that company is trying to standardize pay by merging your old compensation system with their own.

Based on the pay freeze, either your former owners were overly generous, or your new employer is extremely frugal. If salaries in your small business were comparatively high, eliminating raises will begin to bring them back to market rate. But if the acquiring company pays well below market, then you may now work at a sweatshop.

Either way, raises won’t be reappearing anytime soon. However, you might ask human resources for a better explanation of this compensation decision. And perhaps you could diplomatically explain why frozen salaries and frozen treats are a bad combination.

Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at