The agency’s fee is listed as a cost in that spreadsheet, and my entire department can view that information. That sheet is actively used, and I’m the only temp in my department, so it’s clear the amount listed is my weekly payment. I feel completely exposed, and my privacy is violated.
What can I do in this situation? I want that information removed. Isn’t that information protected? Limited to payroll? What are my rights, if any? Please advise on how to proceed.
Any direction will be helpful.
Culturally, salary information is confidential. Many companies have policies about sharing salary information. (Although, employees can always talk about their own salaries!) But, the reality is there are no federal laws about salary privacy.
If your company wanted to, they could post everyone’s salaries on the internet. And many government jobs do just that. So, legally (unless your state has some protection), there’s nothing you can do. Add to it, while it’s your salary people see, it hits a different budget line than the other employees’ salaries because you are an agency temp. So, from a budgetary stance, it makes perfect sense to have your information on that spreadsheet.
That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Here are some ideas to handle this.
Talk to your local supervisor.
Normally, you should speak to your temp agency manager, but this isn’t really an employment question. It’s a spreadsheet question. You can approach the spreadsheet owner (that I assume is your supervisor) and say, “this makes me really uncomfortable since everyone knows my salary. Can we remove this?”
There’s a chance that the answer is no, but there’s a chance that the answer will be yes. It’s doubtful that anyone besides you has thought about this.
Take a deep breath and remember that no one cares.
Sure, it’s kind of fun to know other people’s salaries, but most people are only concerned about their own pay. If you were making $350,000 a year and your coworkers’ earned $65,000, you can bet there would already be discussions about it. But, chances are, as an administrative temp, you’re earning less than most staff members. And the sad truth is, no one cares.
But, I guess that’s not too sad–because you don’t want them to care. They probably don’t notice.
As a temp, you really don’t have any obligation to stay five minutes longer than you want to. You can talk to your temp agency and say this really bothers you, so you’d like to move on. But, unless this job is extremely unpleasant, this isn’t the best idea. Remember, the temp agency cares more about keeping their clients happy than they do about keeping you happy. (I know this is unpleasant, but it’s the reality! They get paid through placements.)
But, if it really bothers you, you’ll want to find a job where you don’t work through a temp agency. While it would still be legal to share your salary far and wide, very few non-governmental jobs do that.