Employer Spotlight

Recruit Gen Y Stars

You need new tools to attract the new breed of talent - Experience will help you build your team with Gen Y stars.


Ease of Use

Our management dashboard helps you easily post jobs, pinpoint targeted candidates and manage your talent pipeline.


All Needles, No Hay

Don't wait for the best candidates to come to your door - with Experience, you can proactively target top talent.


Build Your Experience

Experience is your most important asset - we're here to help you find that next opportunity.


Tell Your Story

You're so much more than just your resume. Showcase your Experience.


Connections Matter

Introductions are made easy when you have Experience -- connect with alumni, mentors and industry insiders.


Use eRecruiting by Experience on campus?
Find your school here.

Home  > Article

Is it ethical to use internal pay data found by accident?

It's almost better not to know. But if you do accidentally find out what your coworkers are making, proceed carefully with the information.

Q. I've accidentally come into possession of a confidential printout of my fellow employees' pay rates. After reviewing it, I've come to the opinion I am being well underpaid. In the near future I am up for review, which always is nothing more than a formality for a decision already made. What are the possible legal ramifications of possessing this information? How, if at all, may I ethically use this information to my advantage?

A. Above all, be very careful.

Since you found the information, I would not use it when discussing your salary with your manager nor your HR department. Unless your coworkers tell you what they are making, don't talk about the information you came across. In fact, some companies have policies against employees divulging their salaries to each other. If you decide to use the information, first find out your company's policy on employees exchanging information.

Before you confront your manager with any data regarding your compensation, find out what experience and educational backgrounds your coworkers have relative to yours. Your peers could have additional experience that you are not aware of. But if your experience and educational background are similar to those of your peers, then I would talk to your manager if I were you.

It may difficult, but ask your manager about your performance relative to your peers. If your performance is average, you can expect to make less money. But take the question a bit further and ask your manager what you'll have to do to get a raise, or to receive a competitive salary relative to your coworkers.

Your manager may feel compelled to offer you reasons why your salary does not meet your expectations. If your manager is reluctant to explain any differences in salary, ask your HR department whether it is possible for a coworker in the same job to be paid more than you. You may also want to know how your company evaluates its jobs.

If you feel you're getting the runaround from the HR department, ask what you will have to do to get a raise and what kinds of resources are available to help you improve your skills.

Good luck.

- Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional

Copyright 2000-2004 ©, Inc.

More Related Articles

Tapping the Job Fair Market
Job fairs are an undervalued job search tool. Follow these tips for a successful trip to the job fair.

Is It Better to Be Yourself or Fake It in an Interview?
If you've made it to the interview stage of a job application, it means that your potential employer has already earmarked your cover letter and resume as special from their overall pool of candidates. The next step is creating a positive first impression when you meet face-to-face. This is a crucial step that can be won or lost in the first few minutes. But what's the best way to sell yourself, especially if the "real you" is a little bit laid-back for corporate America?

Interns for Hire: The best benefit can be a permanent job
Interns know that an internship may be just the way to land a full-time job with a coveted company. And employers are recognizing internships as the best route to snagging stellar young talent.

Google Web Search
Didn't see what you were looking for?
powered by Google
Copyright ©2017 Experience, Inc Privacy Policy Terms of Service