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Should I disclose that I saw the pay range for the job?

If you know the pay range for the job, but the employer would rather you not know, it's best to keep the information to yourself. But you can still use it as an aid to negotiation.

Q. Do I have a right to view the compensation band for my title?

I've just been promoted to MIS manager and I know my new base salary is $22,300 less than the minimum starting salary for my title. Online market surveys support this claim. I can't admit that I have seen the comp band for my title because it would aversely affect the person who showed me.

My boss refuses to discuss my salary, except to say I don't have enough experience and he doesn't expect as much from me as others with my title. What are your thoughts?

A. I'm not an attorney, but I don't know of any law that requires a company to show its pay structure to employees. Nevertheless, companies often have business incentives to disclose their pay structures and pay grades to employees.

It is not unusual for companies to pay an employee below the range from the pay structure if the company believes the person in the job faces a steep learning curve. Or the company may place an employee under a performance plan to move him or her further along in the pay range.

You're right, it is probably a good tactic to keep the knowledge about your pay range to yourself if your company isn't in the habit of disclosing this information. So, how do you get your company to consider increasing your salary? Here's how I'd handle it if I were in your position.

First, tell your supervisor you appreciate the confidence he or she has in you in promoting you to the MIS manager role. Second, since the manager has said you lack the experience to pay you what the previous person in this job was making, ask how the company would help you gain the necessary experience to move further along in the range. In other words, make it the company's responsibility to set up a performance plan that will help you move closer to the midpoint or a competitive market salary.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional

Copyright 2000-2004 ©, Inc.

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