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Old 05-05-2009, 08:44 PM
 
70 posts, read 315,270 times
Reputation: 182

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My company has two pay structures - hourly salary and base salary. A long time peer was asking me several times about my pay and I told him that I'm only on base salary. I did not reveal any numbers, etc. However, during a meeting with my manager, peer and me, while estimating a task, he casually made a comment that the hours doesn't matter to me since I'm on base salary. This irked my manager and he called me to warn that revealing salary information is against company policies and could result in termination. Using this event, he also switched me to hourly salary and now I'm making considerably less that what I used to make. He sent an official, confidential email and made it seem that I made a grave mistake and that the pay switch was for that reason.

Clearly my peer was idiotic to make that comment and I surely made a mistake in even telling him that I was on base salary. However, I believe my manager used the opportunity to cut down my pay.

My questions are:

1. Salary is personal information, not confidential, so is it not my right to discuss it with whomever I wish.

2. I feel my managers action have been discriminatory. Can I take any legal action?

3. Should I respond back to my manager's email disputing the pay change and highlighting the fact that what was revealed was not numbers, but just the type and that he should not come to the conclusion that I've revealed my entire pay structure based on my peer's statements.

Any other suggestions are also appreciated.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
1,271 posts, read 4,698,877 times
Reputation: 1127
I know where I work whether you are "exempt" (salary) or "non-exempt" (hourly) isn't considered "private"---because well they post it when they post similar positions. So if I were your boss, I wouldnt have dinged you on that disclosure. THAT SAID, companies are free to set nondisclosure type policies-whether you like them or not. If your company has a policy which prohibits this kind of exchange, they are fully within their rights.

Discriminatory? Not hardly based on the facts you present. It is only discrimination when on the basis of a LEGALLY protected class (ie race, gender, veterans status I believe etc).

Disputing with your manager? Good way to get labelled a "troublemaker". IMHO what I would do. Let it die down. Wait until your next performance evaluation and discuss it PROFESSIONALLY then. "John, can you tell me what I would need to accomplish to be salary?"

Although one tidbit: if you are referring truly to a pay change that is exempt vs non-exempt: you do have some grounds. Whether a position is considered exempt (salary) or not (hourly) is determined by JOB FUNCTION-ie positions that are more managerial/professional vs clerical and so on. Tho be careful even here-it is possible your position was re-evaluated and determined to be incorrectly classified. You would need to talk to someone who is an expert in Federal Wage and Labor Laws-which isn't me.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:04 AM
 
2,365 posts, read 10,476,803 times
Reputation: 692
Personally, i think your manager sounds a bit loup de loup. But in the end he got 4 dollar gallon of milk for 2 dollars, so maybe he is not cray.

Basically, it sounds like your "friend" set you up. He probably knew you were on base and jealousy pushed him to keep asking what he knew was against the rules. or perhas he is just an el stupido.

I would write a letter to your manager, restating what happened, briefly and then request a three month review to revisit your salary change.

Then in 3 months follow-up and if he doesn't change it back then start lookign for another job.

Give youself to try out salary. You never know there might be hidden advantages you don't see, since you are rightously peeved!

good luck



Quote:
Originally Posted by techtemple View Post
My company has two pay structures - hourly salary and base salary. A long time peer was asking me several times about my pay and I told him that I'm only on base salary. I did not reveal any numbers, etc. However, during a meeting with my manager, peer and me, while estimating a task, he casually made a comment that the hours doesn't matter to me since I'm on base salary. This irked my manager and he called me to warn that revealing salary information is against company policies and could result in termination. Using this event, he also switched me to hourly salary and now I'm making considerably less that what I used to make. He sent an official, confidential email and made it seem that I made a grave mistake and that the pay switch was for that reason.

Clearly my peer was idiotic to make that comment and I surely made a mistake in even telling him that I was on base salary. However, I believe my manager used the opportunity to cut down my pay.

My questions are:

1. Salary is personal information, not confidential, so is it not my right to discuss it with whomever I wish.

2. I feel my managers action have been discriminatory. Can I take any legal action?

3. Should I respond back to my manager's email disputing the pay change and highlighting the fact that what was revealed was not numbers, but just the type and that he should not come to the conclusion that I've revealed my entire pay structure based on my peer's statements.

Any other suggestions are also appreciated.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:32 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 55,492,797 times
Reputation: 13040
1. Salary is personal information, not confidential, so is it not my right to discuss it with whomever I wish.

Read the employee handbook. Most have very specific prohibition about any type of salary discussion. If they don't, they should. You were wrong to discuss it, it's not "personal" it's proprietary. Big difference.

2. I feel my managers action have been discriminatory. Can I take any legal action?

Discrimination for what? Unless you are a protected class of employee and they discrimiated based on your protected class (it sure doesn't sound that way) you've got nothing.

3. Should I respond back to my manager's email disputing the pay change and highlighting the fact that what was revealed was not numbers, but just the type and that he should not come to the conclusion that I've revealed my entire pay structure based on my peer's statements.

I think at this point you should cut your losses before your boss decides you aren't worth the aggravation.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:51 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,715 posts, read 8,285,310 times
Reputation: 5310
Not knowing what took place in that meeting with your manager and yourself - my question is how did you walk out of that room without making him/her understand what information was actually disclosed?

In my opinion, you didn't' reveal any salary info - that is more a position classification (i.e. full/part time) than actual salary info. Most job descriptions will provide that information. But then again, I'm not the HR manager in your company.

I'd first make sure that policy exists in writing, just to verify that the manager didn't bring a policy from an previous employer (it happens all the time, people naturally think things are done a certain way because of previous experience). And even if it does exist, I'd ask for clarification (unless it states that classifications such as exempt/non-exempt is considered "salary" info).
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:30 AM
 
496 posts, read 840,679 times
Reputation: 418
I think gea's advice is very good. Disclosing 'salaried' vs. 'hourly' really is an innocent mistake. Without knowing its significance, you dug a big hole. However, I do have to wonder how a large difference in pay can be justified not by a change in the kind of work you do, but in the way the pay is structured. Makes me 'spicious, personally.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:12 PM
 
70 posts, read 315,270 times
Reputation: 182
Thanks for the tips everyone. I think my best option is to find another job and take this as a lesson learned.
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