One of the things that I loved about being an HR data person was knowing how much money everyone else made. My very first HR job was as an HR admin for the head of Compensation, and I got to run reports for her, which meant I knew everyone’s salaries, including hers and my co-workers (who, incidentally, were much higher level than I was and had no idea about each other’s salaries).
For various reasons, I’ve always needed full access to compensation information (in one job, I even got to approve my boss’s raise, so I knew her raise before she did), and I loved it. For two reasons. One, I’m inherently nosy. (Oh, stop being so self-righteous, you are too.) But the other reason was I always knew my salary was fair.
I never had to fret, “was Jane being paid more than I was, even though I worked harder? Was John hired in at a higher rate, even though we are supposed to be the same level?” It was awesome. I knew my pay was fair.
Most of the rest of you aren’t that lucky. And it’s that lack of knowledge that allows discriminatory or just plain dumb salary problems to continue. What you don’t know, you can’t sue about, right?
To keep reading, click here: What If It Were Illegal to Keep Your Co-Worker’s Salary Secret?