General discussion


Knowledge of other peoples salary info?

By lsmith1989 ·
Here's the deal,

I work in the public service sector and our salary information is deemed public info even to internal employees. Anyone heard of such a thing? Recently, my co-workers found out how much folks make and got all worked up about it. They then try to "Rally" the troops and will pressure people like me to joing them on a crusade to get them more money by duking it out with management.

I happen to make more then a few of them but they havent said anything to me yet at least in front of my face. I feel that I can pull my own wight and am happy with what I'm making. I dont want to be any part of this "crusade" but yet I feel like I kind of have to be because if I dont't take part, then I will be labled an outsider and the rest of the crew will make my work life miserable in very subtle ways thats really hard to document or track.

Other then this, my new job is mostly tolerable and enjoyable.

Any advice? This is a new job for me and it will be a long while to get another job that pays thi well. Should I bear and grin it for my family's sake and tough it out for a while?

Anyone have similiar situation? In the private sector, is it illegal to obtain and know other people's salary information.

Any advice is appreciated, please ignore my stupidity.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to Knowledge of other people ...

"Anyone heard of such a thing?"

Other employees are taxpayers too. You work for them, so they are entitled to know how much you are being paid. I don't know that there's any law against obtaining anothers salary in the private sector (as long as the method used to obtain this information wasn't illegal), but a private company is obliged to tell anyone (except the government, of course) what anybody's salary is, the way a government agency would be.

Advice: examine their point of view. Is it valid? Are they underpaid? After examining it, don't do anything you don't want to do.

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by amcol In reply to

I think you have this exactly backward.

A private company is NOT obliged to tell ANYONE, EXCEPT the government, what your salary is. They report your compensation information to the government annually so your taxes can be assessed correctly. However, no one is under any obligation, legal or otherwise and in the private and public sectors, to disclose their specific salary information to anyone.

Public sector employees work for the taxpayers in the sense that our salaries are paid by your tax dollars, but the notion that we have to report how much we're being paid to those same taxpayers is foolish. Are the shareholders of a public sector company entitled to know what each employee is earning? You can look in corporate financial statements to find out a total figure for compensation across the entire company, but everyone (other than the most senior levels of management) is legally entitled to financial privacy.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to What?

Yes, there was a "not" that I forgot to type :)

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by Reb413 In reply to Knowledge of other people ...

As an IT professional, many of us have access to confidential accounting information including the salary data of fellow employees. As professionals, we work under an implied Code of Ethics to keep all such infromation confidential, including your own salary information. This confidentially remains in effect even after a change of jobs.

What is really frustrating are those potential employers that ask for a salary history and will not consider a potential candidate if the slary history is not furnished.

Do these employers actually consider that the person that supplys this information is breaking the Code of Ethics and should in fact be considered a security threat to their own company? Do they consider that their most confidential data can wind up published on the Internet or sold to any or all of their competitors?

Of what use is it to a potential employer to know how much I was earning at another employer? If they have no idea what to pay, then they should use online resources to determine a fair wage for the position offered.

This practice should stop and the only way to stop it is for all Professional IT people to refuse to provide the information and point out to the potential employer the ramifications of this practice.

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It's a government job, right?

by RealMe In reply to Knowledge of other people ...

Part of being a "civil servant" is that the taxpayers pay your wages. I work for a municipal govt in California. All salary schedules are public record. All anyone has to know is your job title to find out what the salary range is. They may or may not know my salary step but they can find out generally how much I make. For employees over $100,000, the names can be attached to the payroll if requested under the Public Records Act properly. I am also a union employee. You do not have to participate if you are satisfied with your income (I am and I don't). You may or may not be labeled an outsider if you don't participate, but if you participate against your better judgment, then you will be viewed as a pushover. Take your pick. Either stand up for yourself and what you believe in, or let other people push you around and make you do something you don't feel comfortable doing. Your choice. Personally, I'd say something along the lines of "Gee, I really feel like I make an adequate salary, but support all of the rest of you in your endeavor. Good luck." They may not like it, but you have bowed out gracefully.

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