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Posted: 4/1/2002 5:27:20 AM EDT
I need some advice on an issue at work that came to my attention this weekend. It appears my supervisor has divulged my salary and the salaries of my peers (tier 2 engineers) to a non-supervisory tier 3 engineer. Given the current office politics in the IT community, I feel very vulnerable in this situation, my personal privacy and the privacy of my peers has been violated. The company I work for has explicit regulations concerning the confidentiality of it’s employees salaries, the tier 3 has no need to know anyone’s salary, except his own. What measures do you think would be most appropriate in this situation? Thanks for your reasoned responses.
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 5:33:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 5:36:13 AM EDT
I think that you need to have a raise!! That way the information is not up to date anymore!!!
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 6:00:19 AM EDT
do you have a human resources rep or department? i'd go there first, without saying anything to your supervisor or anyone else about the incident. play this one by the book and follow procedures to the letter. ...only then should you shoot the place up if you don't like the results.
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 6:03:44 AM EDT
I agree, go to HR. How did you find out your supervisor did this? Do you know why he did it?
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 6:04:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2002 6:06:26 AM EDT by FMJunkie]
Well, I would immediately have a private meeting with your supervisor, if not already done. Be calm, be cool. Ask if this did, in fact, happen. If so, ask why. You might find out that there was a business reason. If not, and you don't like the answer given, you have a tough choice to make. I see three options for you at that point: A) Say and do nothing. B) Tell your boss you're offended, hurt, embarrassed and pissed off and leave it at that. C) Tell your boss all that and then speak to the next level or HR. The problem is, what are they really going to do for you? I'm not saying its right, I'd be pissed too but, there really isn't anything that can be done FOR you here. The most I could see happening is your boss reassigned or fired. Are you in a vindictive mood? I think you have every right to be angry and to say so. But, try to find that appropriate level of response. I would do "B" and leave it at that unless the guy was a total prick and his response to my complaint was really bad. Then it would be "C". (with extreme prejudice) Edited to add: I believe in being completely open and up front ALWAYS. That is why I would take it, in a very professional manner, right to the source of the problem and see what's what before opening the HR can of worms.
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 6:53:09 AM EDT
DPeacher, It would probably help if you were to articulate [b]why[/b] revealing your salary was a bad idea, and the negative consequences to you that could result.
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 7:20:43 AM EDT
FMJunkie got it right. Do not go to HR! They are only there to hire & fire people, regardless of the BS that they lay down, & you obviously have already been hired. The only possibilities are to keep your position or to get yourself fired. You are in the weakest negotiating position so you don't have many options. The difficult part of the situation comes if your boss will not answer you or he denies it completely & you feel that he has not been truthful. Then you should go to your boss's supervisor. Get your ducks in a row! Plan this like a chess game with if/then scenarios. Timing is important. Find out if the boss's supervisor will be available immediately after you meet with your boss & see him right away. If you let too much time go by your boss can probably schmooze his way past it & you could look like a troublemaker, whether rightly or wrongly. Consider enlisting allies, but just those who have been directly affected. If you go outside the immediate enviroment you risk being labled a gossip & it will be seen as disloyalty regardless of facts. Look at the situation from the perspective of your boss as well as that of the Tier 3 employee. Maybe there was a legitimate reason for the disclosure. Could the Tier 3 employee be up for a promotion? Good luck.
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 7:30:56 AM EDT
you said you feel vulnerable. Why? Is your boss a cool otherwise?
Link Posted: 4/1/2002 10:15:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ckapsl: DPeacher, It would probably help if you were to articulate [b]why[/b] revealing your salary was a bad idea, and the negative consequences to you that could result.
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The reason it could be detrimental is because there is a $60K difference between the minimum and maximum salaries in my pay band. It is very doubtful that anyone is in the top echelon of the pay band, but there are bound to be numerous team members in the lower echelon due to their experience level when they joined the company. I am in the middle of the pay band. I could be making $30K more per year then a few of my peers. It is also possible that I could be making more money then the tier3 or very close to what he is making. If another tier3 position were to come available, I would be a front runner for the position, and the current tier3’s have a great deal to do with who else joins their ranks. He could take offense that a promotion for me would result in a 10% bump in my pay, thus I would be making quite a bit more then he is. Many of my peers did not have any or at best very limited experience in the IT field before they started here, while I had 9 years hands on in lead technical and supervisory positions. For instance, the tier 3 that has become privy of the salaries was working at a local brewpub before he came here 5 years ago. Don’t take that as a stab at his abilities, because he does excellent work in his current position. But also keep in mind that he and others with a similar background are very “close sighted” in that they assume that since they had little to no experience before working here, that nobody else does either. In the past, the tier 3 and several of my peers have said that I was “lucky” to get my position straight off the street, while they had to “earn” their spot on the team, but nothing of the sort recently. I am the only person on the team that was hired directly to full time without a 6 to 12 month temp position. I have asked them if they would like to compare resumes, and not a single one has taken my offer, nor has anyone ever questioned my abilities. I am routinely handed the most complex client networks and have been tasked with correcting issues with clients I am not personally responsible for when the account primary has dropped the ball. I have worked hard to foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork with my peers and I feel this issue, if it became known, could lead to an atmosphere of distrust and contempt. I hope this outlines my concerns and why I feel vulnerable in my current situation. hardcase - there are no slots open for promotion at this time, and the tier3 was just recently promoted to his current position.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 3:27:43 PM EDT
DPeacher, You have articulated your concerns well, but I meant that you should do so to your boss, not to me [:)]. I think that you should use your explanation to give your supervisor some background about why what he did was inappropriate. Personally, I think that divulging salary information is simply wrong, and the costs far outweigh the benefits.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 3:56:55 PM EDT
I think you should call the first attorney you see on TV, stop going to work, and file a lawsuit for "mental anguish" and go on disability. Seriously, though, it all depends on how much you like your job. If it's just the sweetest deal you've ever had, don't do anything. If the job sucks an you were going to quit anyway, see above. If it's a good job but has room for improvement, I'd meet with the supervisor and tell him that since he let the info out (which I'm sure is against company policy) it's causing problems with the other, lower paid employees and you may have to talk to HR about rectifying the situation. You'll then be in a good position to either get a raise or promotion to keep your mouth shut, or else totally screw your boss. Either way, if you do decide to bring this up, then be prepared to go all the way no matter who gets hurt. If you make a little noise and then back down, you boss will know that you're a pussy that he can pass over with no repercussions and they'll jerk you around forever. If you can't do that, then grit your teeth and keep quiet.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 4:19:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hardcase: FMJunkie got it right. Do not go to HR! They are only there to hire & fire people, regardless of the BS that they lay down...
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not necessarily true. the HR department for my mom's place of employment goes far beyond the hiring/firing role. in fact, complaints DO go through the HR department when they involve vertical differences (boss/employee) rather than lateral (employee vs. employee) problems. personally, it doesn't matter to me whether there's any real danger or not in revealing my salary. the fact of the matter is that it IS CONFIDENTIAL and should remain so. no body has any business knowing what i make. like they have no business knowing what my SSN is or what my address or home phone is. it's about the principle of privacy and it's obvious that this supervisor is breaking the rules big time. what's next? what other rules or private pieces of information is he going to reveal? he obviously has no respect for the employees or the rules that are there to protect privacy. at the very least, if i were in this situation, i would try and get it on his record that he violated company policy. not out of vengeance, but so that if he continues to pull this kind of crap, there is a history of it and maybe somebody will have the cojones to do the right thing. fwiw, he would be terminated on the spot for such an act where my mom works.
Link Posted: 4/2/2002 6:33:51 PM EDT
A guy at my place of work was nosing around and found the pay scale documents per each employee. He started sharing the information and was promptly fired.
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