How do I prevent salary harassment?

I have an employee, Heidi, who continually asks others for their salary info. Some people don’t want to discuss it and tell her that, but she won’t stop asking! I want to give her a supervisory directive to quit bugging people, but I also know she has the right to discuss this. What is the correct terminology I should use here?

To read my answer, click here: How do I prevent salary harassment?

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2 thoughts on “How do I prevent salary harassment?

  1. With an employee like the one described in the article, all personnel, especially supervisors of this employee, need to walk on eggshells as far as handling these job-related conversations that are both annoying and harassing others. I am surprised that this tendency did not show up during the hiring interview as a red flag based on the way this individual employee has conversations with others. But since this person has made it through the initial phase of being the new employee and is now part of the “regular” staff, everything going forward needs to be documented and placed in her work file for any discussions on any issue. I like the advice to initially have a verbal discussion with a witness present but I would take it a step further and put a written notation in the file with the witness’s signature as having been present for the conversation–as a backup to prevent he says/she says the situation narrative. This type of individual is very narcissistic and narrow-minded in their perception of how things should work. Perhaps it’s a skill needed for their specific job but it is not a people/socialization skill that creates teamwork but actually creates the opposite in its negative single-mindedness. Any corrective approaches to this individual will have to be direct and follow the correct procedures as outlined by this article.–verbal discussion, written and verbal write-up, discipline follow-up plan to correct the problem, and lastly if the person fails to adapt, termination showing the clear detailed efforts made to accommodate this person and to make them more inclusive to the team and how they failed to do so. Predictably, this individual will probably file a lawsuit of wrongful termination, claiming harassment when their specific interactions are harassing to others. By documenting every step, your side of the argument is fully covered. I advise also that the hiring process also be fine-tuned to not repeat hire this type of individual.

  2. This is a very interesting topic. Salary harassment is not something that should be taken lightly, and it’s also something that is difficult to deal with. Like the administrator who was having a hard time dealing with it said, Heidi has the right to discuss working conditions under the law, which includes salary. However, it does create a toxic working environment and it does bug people, and those feelings are also justified. I think having a witness whenever meeting with someone about behavioral concerns is incredibly effective. A coach of mine was accused by one of his athletes of saying incriminating things to her in a meeting he had with her, that cannot be proven to be false because he did not have a neutral witness, and so having a witness is important to make sure the employee in question does turn around and say something else. Following up consistently is also great because it tells your employees that you care enough about their mental and emotional wellbeing instead of just portraying that you’re trying to deal with a nuisance.

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