Woman Says She Was Denied Raise Because 'Men Need it More' in Viral Post

A worker's husband has ignited outrage online over his wife allegedly not getting a raise at her company because he's an engineer making good money and her boss thinks the men in the office "need it more."

Some users didn't mince words with their feelings on the topic. "This is absolute bulls**t," a Redditor said. "Her work is being devalued on the basis of her marital status, and that's completely f***ed. Where I am that would be unlawful."

The viral Reddit post, titled, "My wife isn't getting a raise this year because I make good money and the men in the office 'need it more,'" has been upvoted over 32,900 times since it was shared on March 4.

The information was posted by @u/DLS3141 to the subreddit "Antiwork." The husband said his wife is a graphic designer in a marketing firm. She's good at her job and gets "glowing reviews from her boss" along with the usual raise.

However, this year was different. His wife had her review, which went well, but she was told although everyone else was getting an increase in pay, she wasn't.

The post continued: "When she asked why, her boss told her, 'There's only so much in the budget for salary increases, and since your husband is an engineer and makes good money, you don't need it unlike the men here.'"

"I was completely gobsmacked," he went on. "That's just so f***ed up. It just makes me so angry. I mean, I am an engineer and I do make good money, but that's not a reason to sell her short."

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 "prohibits workplace discrimination based on religion, national origin, race, color, or sex."

The website also reports that the Equal Pay Act "requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work."

50 dollar bill
A woman said she was denied a raise because "men need it more" in a viral Reddit post. Here, the back of a $50 bill. TREKANDSHOOT/GETTY

Although the husband told his wife she can quit and look elsewhere, she's concerned it could take a while. The pair live in a small midwestern city "where good opportunities for graphic designers are fairly scarce, so it's not like she can just quit and get a dozen offers by the end of the week."

The Redditor relayed that he is more upset about it than his wife is. More than 2,400 comments came rolling in after the post, and people are outraged at the situation.

Many Redditors offered up advice on what his wife should do, and one comment garnered over 10,000 upvotes alone.

"Try to get it in writing that their policy is to base pay on gender or at least on husband wages," a Redditor weighed in. "Will make the lawsuit easier."

Some brought up their own points on the subject. "So... Her value to that company is defined by how much your company pays you?" a Redditor asked. "If you didn't have your job (or any job), she would have gotten a raise?"

Some brought up the legalities of the situation. "Umm, just my two cents, but that is very illegal to deny a raise based on sex. And if your wife lets this go, it perpetuates why women get paid less for the same work."

The OP responded adding, "There are other women in the office who did get a raise, just not my wife and seemingly just because of me."

One Reddit user doesn't think the OP is overreacting in the least. "That is bats**t crazy, and just made my head hot," they said. "Is there any way it's legally defensible in 2022? I mean, it's he said she said, but given their openness, aren't they admitting they'll screw her over for being female? I couldn't work at that place."

Another person brought up the OP's wife's moral now after learning the news of why she wouldn't be getting a raise just like everyone else.

"So your wife is great at work, but she doesn't get a raise while everyone does," they reasoned. "Does the manager really expect her to continue to work as great and motivated as always?"

Newsweek reached out to @u/DLS3141 for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

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