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Google Businesses The Almighty Buck

Google Staffers Share Salary Info With Each Other; Management Freaks 430

Nerval's Lobster writes: Imagine a couple of employees at your company create a spreadsheet that lists their salaries. They place the spreadsheet on an internal network, where other employees soon add their own financial information. Within a day, the project has caught on like wildfire, with people not only listing their salaries but also their bonuses and other compensation-related info. While that might sound a little far-fetched, that's exactly the scenario that recently played out at Google, according to an employee, Erica Baker, who detailed the whole incident on Twitter. While management frowned upon employees sharing salary data, she wrote, "the world didn't end everything didn't go up in flames because salaries got shared." For years, employees and employers have debated the merits (and drawbacks) of revealing salaries. While most workplaces keep employee pay a tightly guarded secret, others have begun fiddling with varying degrees of transparency, taking inspiration from studies that have shown a higher degree of salary-related openness translates into happier workers. (Other studies (PDF) haven't suggested the same effect.) Baker claims the spreadsheet compelled more Google employees to ask and receive "equitable pay based on data in the sheet."
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Google Staffers Share Salary Info With Each Other; Management Freaks

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  • by Joe Gillian ( 3683399 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @04:32PM (#50170681)

    Employers afraid of employees asking for raises, film at eleven.

  • by iamwhoiamtoday ( 1177507 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @04:34PM (#50170695)

    I firmly believe that when job-hunting, you should know how much you'll be making when you apply. I've been through a number of interviews for what seemed to be great positions, only to have to turn them down after being offered the job because they weren't paying a decent wage for the job at hand.

    Making public how much everyone is making goes a long way to keeping job-seekers aware of how much they are worth. Hiding salaries only helps companies, who can then keep low-balling people.

    Back when I was in the Army, we all knew exactly how much everyone else made in base pay, from E1 to O9. That at least gave incentive to work up the chain from the bottom.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tchdab1 ( 164848 )

      A huge disadvantage of private business is its lack of accountability, and lack of transparency that goes along with it. How can everyone understand if things are working well in an environment where as little is shared as possible? Salaries are only a part of it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by digsbo ( 1292334 )
        Ever see GlassDoor? [glassdoor.com] Seems like a great idea.
        • by iserlohn ( 49556 )

          The problem with glassdoor is that the salary info there is not exactly accurate. Most of the time, it is on the low side.

          • Could be a self-selection bias. Higher earners are more likely to visit glassdoor, and may be surprised to learn what the more typical rest & vest cog pulls down.

    • by digsbo ( 1292334 )
      Uncertainty goes both ways. I never thought of it this way until reading this interesting blog post. [yosefk.com] Companies don't know how good the worker really is, either.
      • Companies can fire anyone at any time. People can't simply hire themselves into any position at any time.

        • Companies can fire anyone at any time. People can't simply hire themselves into any position at any time.

          However they can offer their skills to any employer at any time, or they can start their own company and hire themselves into any desired position.

    • Back when I was in the Army, we all knew exactly how much everyone else made in base pay, from E1 to O9. That at least gave incentive to work up the chain from the bottom.

      Well, that makes sense for the armed forces, as it would be sort of chaotic for everyone to negotiate their own pay. Union jobs are like that as well. I'm sure a fixed system is great if you hate the idea of negotiating for yourself, or don't have the self-confidence or negotiating skills to effectively ask for what you're worth. For instance, my understanding is that women (on average) tend to accept lower negotiated salaries than what they could probably get. To be honest, though, I'd prefer to negoti

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:27PM (#50171027)

        But see, you've bought into the idea that you benefit from your negotiating skills more than you would if you were operating in an open market with required information. Just having everyone's salary information made public would perform much of the same function as collective bargaining without having to create a union structure and that could very likely benefit you far more than going it alone.

        It's pretty obvious that you think you are doing alright by your negotiations but how would you feel to find out you are far behind the average? I somehow doubt you would shrug that off and think that's what you deserved.

      • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @02:26AM (#50173085)

        I'd rather see people paid based on the skills and experience they use on the job, rather than their negotiation skills or chutzpah.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      only to have to turn them down after being offered the job because they weren't paying a decent wage for the job at hand

      I thought the trend now days was for you to indicate how much you were willing to work for when you applied for the job (complete with salary history of your previous jobs), and hope that you were within the acceptable range.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      Last year a recruiter contacted me for a Silicon Valley job at $25 per hour. I went for an interview. The other hiring manager wasn't available, so the full interview had to be rescheduled. Oh, BTW, the job only pays $15 per hour. So I told the manager and the recruiter that I was no longer interested in the position.

      A month later the recruiter accidentally sent me the salary spreadsheet via email because my name was similar to another employee's name. All the employees at that location got paid $10 per hou

      • What sort of work are you in? Any sort of tech job should pay more than that. I made $15-$20 / hour delivering pizza in college. And than was in South Carolina in the '90s, when gas was 45 per gallon and a decent two bedroom apartment was under $400 / month.

    • by uncqual ( 836337 )

      And the inverse. I've wasted time talking to a few companies who were very interested but didn't ever ask what I was currently making -- until they casually asked the question after a couple of hours, and you could feel the oxygen leave the room and their interest plummet. I was talking to VPs of development at small growing companies and by looking at my resume I assumed they knew what I was probably making, but they seemed to be hoping that I was underpaid and that I would happily remain so. I just wish t

    • by Anon-Admin ( 443764 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:28PM (#50171029) Homepage Journal

      It is always a pain when they don't list the salary range.

      I have gone over to being very up front and straight forward. If they want me to interview I ask "What salary range are you looking to pay?" If they give me some BS about how it is dependent on experience or "At this time it is open." I normally reply with "Sorry, I know how business works. A salary rage was selected before the listing was made. I am only asking what that range is so I can decide if it is worth my time to pursue the position. If it is to low then I am waisting my time and yours by even accepting an interview."

      I would like to say they were all consistent but they were all over the map. The one that comes to mind is one that had 150 Linux servers running an online service. They had been hacked and were looking for someone to come in and clean it up, secure the systems, and make sure they were not re-hacked. They specifically listed 10 years experience and ton of must knows. When I got them to tell me how much they were looking to pay, they wanted someone who would work for $12.00 an hr on a 1099. I about fell over and had to let them know that they put the period in the wrong place, minimum would have been $120.00 an hr on a 1099.

      • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @06:01PM (#50171211) Homepage Journal

        It is always a pain when they don't list the salary range.

        I have gone over to being very up front and straight forward. If they want me to interview I ask "What salary range are you looking to pay?" If they give me some BS about how it is dependent on experience or "At this time it is open." I normally reply with "Sorry, I know how business works. A salary rage was selected before the listing was made. I am only asking what that range is so I can decide if it is worth my time to pursue the position. If it is to low then I am waisting my time and yours by even accepting an interview."

        It doesn't surprise me that the company is willing to waste MY time, after all they aren't paying me yet. But it never ceases to amaze me that they will bring me in to talk to four or 5 of their guys, collectively costing the company probably $3,000, and refuse to reveal a salary range which could have saved them the $3,000.

        • by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @04:25AM (#50173427)
          This is common in most business because most businesses are run by morons.

          I like to call it "Leading By Conjecture."

          Businesses measure a few things (namely money) and then make the insane mistake of thinking that just because they measure something they have all of the variables required for their desired output. They change the variables they have measured (almost always relating to reducing spending and hours) and they assume their total costs will go down. They assume things like employee moral, employee comfort, and amount of bureaucracy are unimportant... well, assume is the wrong word because most of them never consider those things to begin with, and the others dismiss it as pessimism.

          Many companies are the equivalent of MRAPs. Big, powerful tanks that are prone to overloading bridges, or tipping over like a toy, because nobody bothered to think about all the variables... they were trying to solve one problem in isolation, "stop IEDs."
        • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday July 24, 2015 @04:39AM (#50173463)

          When I go jobhunting, this is almost the first thing I bring up after I hear the jobdescription.

          I will say "I am expecting to earn X amount." When they say that is a bit high, I will say that I can negotiate with them when I come over. When they say 'no problem' I will add extra things when I am ther. When they say 'no way' then I will thank them for their time.

          So I do not ask them what they will pay, I tell them what I expect.

          I also have been called back and got the job when they said "That is a bit high, I will call you back".

          And I am aware that most job interviews will end in a no, so I am expecting that, so I am relaxed and see it as a training for the one that says yes.

    • How public? How about "required to be given on request in a reasonable time period under state law" public?

      I work for a college, and our state law basically puts all sorts of info out there for being available on request. Unless of course you are a cop, married to a cop, have a close relative in the prosecutors office, etc - they all have legal protection against disclosing this information.

      But, as an employee with no spending authority, no supervisory authority, and no official decision authority, my nam

  • Never understood (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @04:38PM (#50170717)

    It has been so taboo at many of the places that I have worked to talk about salary.

    The place I work now is very guarded about this as well. We recently had someone canned because they opened someone else's offer letter (which was sitting on a shared workstation).

    I have always just assumed it was conspiracy cooked up in a board room full of men long ago as a way to enable pay inequality.

    • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

      We recently had someone canned because they opened someone else's offer letter (which was sitting on a shared workstation).

      Well if a sealed letter had someone else's name on it I'd agree that's a firing offense.

      Me voluntarily telling you how much I make, on the other hand, is our business. Management can cough and sputter all it wants, but unless I signed a contract that stipulates my salary is confidential information, there's nothing they can do about it.

      • I think "on a shared workstation" means it was an electronic document and not a physical sealed envelope.
        • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

          I think "on a shared workstation" means it was an electronic document and not a physical sealed envelope.

          Fair point, and that sounds dicier. 'Round these parts (California), that employee might have a case for wrongful termination. But maybe not; snooping around corporate computer systems, even if the door is unlocked, just doesn't look good.

          In the other case, though, now that I think about it, even if I had signed a contract that said my salary was confidential, surely that's only an agreement between me and the company? Would I really be violating such a clause if I disclosed my salary to another agent of th

  • by dunkindave ( 1801608 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @04:46PM (#50170757)

    Baker claims the spreadsheet compelled more Google employees to ask and receive "equitable pay based on data in the sheet."

    90% of drivers think they are better than the average driver, and I would bet 90%+ of workers think they are better than average, and would therefore expected to be paid above the median (note for the statistically challenged - 90% of a group cannot be above the median). This study will give them data to know where they are on the graph. How will management deal with 90% of their workers demanding to be paid more since they are being paid below what they think they should be based on their (biased) self-assessment?

    • by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @04:55PM (#50170817)
      Easy. Ask the employees what they've done to make them think they deserve it. If Steve, Alan, and Lucy all make 50 grand a year, and I make 45 grand, and my contributions to the company are comparable to theirs, why shouldn't I be paid similarly? If I'm not coming through in crucial times, or in ways that the others are, I would like to know about it. I would hope that a manager would be aware of the value of his/her employees. I know, it's a stretch.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Easy. Ask the employees what they've done to make them think they deserve it. If Steve, Alan, and Lucy all make 50 grand a year, and I make 45 grand, and my contributions to the company are comparable to theirs, why shouldn't I be paid similarly? If I'm not coming through in crucial times, or in ways that the others are, I would like to know about it. I would hope that a manager would be aware of the value of his/her employees. I know, it's a stretch.

        And if you make your case and the boss disagrees would you accept the answer at face value? Or would you think the boss is a clueless PHB, playing favorites, falling for smooth talkers and credit stealers and so on that isn't giving you the wage you deserve? I'm guessing you'll see many disgruntled workers that think they're performing equal or better when they're not. I would like to see the anonymized payroll, with title to see the average/spread but I don't think knowing Steve, Alan, and Lucy make $5k mo

      • by slew ( 2918 )

        Not that easy...

        Part of your pay is for what you do, part of your pay is to keep you from leaving and working somewhere else (presumably because they would have to hire and train someone new to replace you)...

        If Steve, Alan and Lucy make 50 grand a year and you make 45 grand and your contributions to the company are comparable, but you really need the job because you are single parent in your mid-50's and don't want to go back into the job market in your mid-50's, and they all are married to high paying pro

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @06:29PM (#50171375)

        As a hiring manager, I'm given a number and that's what I get to hire someone with. If someone asks for more, I can usually try to accommodate, but if you want 100K and I can only give you 80K, then it comes down to whether you want the job or not.

        As for rewarding your work... equity can certainly come into play, but if the principle is that I have to pay you what other people are making, then perhaps I just can't hire you to begin with. Some people would say that maybe I should not hire you if I can't pay you the same as someone else. I don't know if I agree, but I can see that argument. Still, I'm out a worker that I could really use to unburden everyone else on the team.

        If you are willing to work for 80K, I am happy to give you bigger merit raises than your peers if you worked extra hard, but if you walk in the door unhappy with your base salary, should I cut into the bonus pool of others just so you can get a massive raise to make your salary equal to theirs? Didn't they deserve their raise too? Or do they deserve less simply because their base number is higher than yours?

        Of course, there are policies like equity raises that some businesses have which ensure that people do get on that sort of footing, but that's often a separate pool and not all places can afford it.

        What I don't think is that you should consider what someone else makes to be a reflection on what the company thinks of *you*. If you're capable, you may start lower, but I'd probably be happy to see you become a manager or advanced individual contributor where that other guy will never get higher than he is today. You'll start at 80K, but you'll someday get to 150K whereas the other guy will never see the other side of 110. Alternately, you could be selected for more training opportunities or given more interesting work. All of that turns into more money too, either at that work place or at another place you move to later.

        The problem is that it is very hard to do what is fair because the conditions in which "fair" are measured in can change. If we're making hundreds of millions of dollars, then its hard to justify giving you low pay, but if we're not, then I can't afford to give you the same higher pay that would be fair when we were doing well. Fairness is a very subjective concept unless you very strictly define what you are talking about.

      • The problem here is that companies like Google don't have a clue what their employees are contributing. They don't even know (in any meaningful sense) why they employee a lot of them - look at all their abandonware. They have a huge amount of money coming in and hire people they think they might be able to use, possibly not right now, possibly for no purpose yet defined. They may work more or fewer hours, commit larger or smaller numbers of lines of code, but does that ultimately translate into better or wo
  • if you have two people doing the same and one is grossly underpaid, he or she will not sit back and take it as bosses dish it out. What is so surprising about this?
    • if you have two people doing the same and one is grossly underpaid, he or she will not sit back and take it as bosses dish it out. What is so surprising about this?

      The problem comes when one just thinks they are doing "the same" job.

  • The contracting agency gave me a new fancy title, "Senior Systems Administrator," based on 18 years of I.T. experience, when they renewed my contract. I pointed out that a Senior Systems Admin in Silicon Valley makes $40K more per year than what I'm getting paid now. I heard their frown all the way from the East Coast on my raise request. Didn't help that the company I'm assigned to gave me server access to fix a blotched printer migration.
  • Bravo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Simulant ( 528590 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @04:53PM (#50170807) Journal

    The (American only?) taboo on discussing compensation simply perpetuates inequality. If it seems unfair it probably is.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a private sector thing, not an American thing. Public sector employees in America have their salaries in a database that can be searched by the citizens... e.g.: http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/state-pay/article2642161.html Some places are not electronic, but the data itself is public. Citizens have a right to know how much they are paying their workers.

  • Management can get away with not paying the going rate if people aren't aware they are being short changed. Knowledge of what the going rate is should be enough to put some steel in their spines.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      While interviewing for jobs last year, I ran into a former coworker who was still working at the same company and making slightly more money than I did when we worked together nine years ago. He stayed in the same position and accepted 2% pay raises over those nine years. I did short-term contract work — anywhere from a day to a year — for various Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley, making 80% more money because I have much broader range of experiences in assignment and corporate cultures.
      • While interviewing for jobs last year, I ran into a former coworker who was still working at the same company and making slightly more money than I did when we worked together nine years ago. He stayed in the same position and accepted 2% pay raises over those nine years. I did short-term contract work — anywhere from a day to a year — for various Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley, making 80% more money because I have much broader range of experiences in assignment and corporate cultures. Go figure.

        Businesses are stupid. They won't pay you raises even if you ask for them. They would rather you quit and then they will have to hire somebody else and train them, losing months of productivity and probably having to pay 120% or more of your salary to attract the talent, rather than just give you a lousy 10% raise.

  • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:02PM (#50170857) Journal

    The big difficulty is that salary gets really complicated, really fast. It helps many people, but building the system that is equitable would be difficult, and all the positive outliers could be harmed in the process.

    SCENARIO: Money is a little tight but applicants are plentiful. We interview lots of people, and three of them look very qualified and are willing to work for a certain wage in a tight range. All hired. Three months later the group discovers a unique need, needing a developer on a specific tool with specific skills. They'll be hired at the same job title, but because the group need a specialized skill immediately, they will go through a headhunter and ultimately pay a premium for that fourth worker. Now, because all four have the same job title, the critical question: should the company go back and increase the three other workers' pay to the same pay rate of the fourth worker with the specialized skill? Should they refuse to hire the specialist at a rate above the other three?

    In some fields it can make sense to standardize pay. Most skilled trades operate this way. There is a standard rate in a region for a Journeyman with specific certifications. Trade unions can help fight for specific benefits. You know that this class of tradesman has a specific skill set and can be hired for $27/hour. You need four of them. All of them are treated as interchangeable.

    In other fields it can make far less sense to standardize pay, mostly because there are many variables. Unfortunately software development is one of those fields where it is complicated. It would be really convenient -- both for applicants and employers -- to have such a scale. This is a Java programmer with seven endorsements certified at grade 27, so pay is automatically $x.

    But unfortunately for this field, technology is ALWAYS changing, so the scale would be difficult. You were certified in version 3.2, but the system has moved on to version 4.1. Does that individual lose the old certification? If they take the new industry trade group's course do they now have 8 certifications instead of seven? Do certifications expire over time, or transfer between technologies? With the huge number of technologies out there, does that mean we'll have thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of different certifications for the trade union? How are individual certifications weighted, and how are they equivalent? Is a master Direct3D 12 certification the same value as a master PostgreSQL 9.4 certification? Is a PostgreSQL 9.4.4 certification valued differently than a PostgreSQL 9.3.9 certification? If someone has certifications in other specializations, must those apply in the cost? With the rapid pace of an enormous number of technologies, what prevents someone from getting hundreds of certifications? Such as "I've got 47 certifications, one for each version of the software released over the past two years"? While it works good for slower-moving trades, it does not work so well in software.

    Sometimes I feel it would be nice to have programming trade unions. There are many features like collective bargaining for benefits that could be nice. But for actual salary levels, union-based standardized wages would be a nightmare. It would add a convenience factor to ensure new workers have certain minimum competencies, but it unfortunately adds maximum values as well. Nobody wants to know that they could be making more due to market pressure.

    By establishing fixed buckets of pay levels, it establishes both a minimum (yay) and a maximum (boo) within a region. If you've got any kind of specialization or exotic skill -- and many of us do -- those same pay buckets that help many people also hurt the top performers.

    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      If said company was in such a hurry for a hot specialized skill, why not hire a temp contractor for it (or contract into hire if necessary) and spend the months during the contract to run up the skills of the remaining members to fill in as necessary? If the specialization is temporal to your business needs then don't pay for it perpetually. Instead, use a temporary worker for a temporary job. If it is necessary for your ongoing business needs, make a new position for their specialized needs and hire for th

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:51PM (#50171147)

      The employees know that the skill diversity exists. Everyone does. That is not the issue. The difference is that, if both sides of the negotiation have all of the information, then both sides can use the information to an equal advantage. The parity is not between employees, but between employee and employer. You are trying to make it out like the parity issue is between employees. The issue is merely that employers hide the information because it gives them an information advantage.

      If everyone knew all of the information, the negotiations across the board would naturally be more equitable. To answer your specific question, the three others know that a specialist will demand more than them. They may try to argue that they deserve equal pay, but the manager can simply point to the fact that the specialist is a specialist. Everyone has all of the information, so it is actually *easier* to see fairness _when_fairness_exists_.

    • because all four have the same job title

      Only insecure people care about job titles, competent people want cash over ego-inflating substitutes. And if they're not morons, they'll understand that $specialized_skill demands a higher salary. After all, what's stopping them from learning $specialized_skill themselves?

    • by dirk ( 87083 )

      Why are we assuming the other employees are not capable of understanding this? When they ask, the company says "Joe makes more because he has specialized skill X that the rest of you don't have". They may then learn that skill and be more useful to the company in which case they should make more or they don't learn the skill and stay where they are.

      And what of the more real life version of this? A company needs to hire 3 people and find 3 equally qualified applicants that they want. The company has budgeted

  • Public Information (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gim Tom ( 716904 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:03PM (#50170863)
    For those that have worked in the public sector this is often the norm -- at least it was where I worked. Back in the dark ages (pre Internet) the State Audit department published a book with every employee's actual earnings and travel expenses annually. That document was a public record and available to anyone who knew about it and took the trouble to get a copy. When the Internet came along the data is now on line and searchable on a public web site. When vendors came to sell us the latest and greatest security gismo or software their standard example of confidential information was the employee salary data. Once it was on line I always got a kick out of going to the Web site and calling up the application and showing them that salary data was NOT at all confidential where we worked!
    • For those that have worked in the public sector this is often the norm....

      I also saw this when I worked for a town. Because everyone's salary was a line item on the budget, and the townspeople voted for the budget, all the salaries were public information.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:12PM (#50170923)

    At every company there's someone that works harder than you and makes far less money than you. Conversely, there's also someone that works far less than you and makes way more money than you.

  • Management didn't "freak". The spreadsheet in question is alive and well, and Google employees continue adding their information to it (I did). If management really wanted gone, it would be taken down. Erica Baker's manager wasn't happy about it, and she was invited to talk to her manager about it. It may or may not have bothered someone above her manager; Erica doesn't know and neither do we.

    Her manager also chose to interpret the peer bonus rules such that the bonuses peers sent her forward weren't given to her. That's at least partly correct on her manager's part. The peer bonus rules say that any given action/effort can only be rewarded once. If the manager feels that it was a really valuable contribution the manager can choose to discard the peer bonus ($125) and instead award a larger spot bonus (amount variable), but only one peer bonus per act.

    What is a little bit weird was that Erica said peer bonuses were rejected before one was approved, so the rejections before the approval weren't due to the one PB per action rule. Also weird is that Erica said her colleague got multiple bonuses for the spreadsheet. That shouldn't normally happen.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by schitso ( 2541028 )
      But that doesn't fit the "boo hoo sexism" narrative!
    • by melted ( 227442 )

      "One bonus per" policy was introduced after it became fashionable to do peer bombs for great work. Peer bomb is when a number of people get together and each of them awards a peer bonus to someone. If a lot of people get together, the resulting sum could be quite substantial, though usually it wasn't more than 5 people.

  • Obvious really (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 23, 2015 @05:36PM (#50171071)

    "Secret salaries" is a classic prisoners dilemma, but with a twist. Here the prisoners are allowed to communicate to achieve the statistically best mutual outcome, but the statistically best mutual outcome also comes with the slight penalty that the one with the best outcome currently (highest paid for position) not only receives no direct benefit, but also receives a slight penalty in that if others use the information to say, get a raise, their highest paid position will be lessened or eliminated.

    Now statistically, in a company with thousands of employees, many with roughly the same "position" the logical thing to do would be to share, as odds are extremely good you aren't in that highest paid position and thus can only receive benefit. But the idea that you *MIGHT* be has probably kept employees from doing this before now.

  • Your salary and compensation is personal information and your company should never share without your permission. (Unless there is a public reporting requirement, of course).

    However, I don't see why you can't choose to share your own salary information. My only concern would be that there could become some sort of pressure group so that everyone has to do so.

    I think it is a bad idea to share salaries except in the most anonymous of manners. I don't mind someone knowing how much a person with my job title

  • usually has a clause explicitly saying we can't discuss our pay with other contractors. I always found this a bit evil, since it's only purpose is to depress wages overall. But if Google doesn't include such a clause in their employment contract, too bad for them.
    • these clauses are unenforceable, but apparently you don't know that.

      i bet they figured out you were a sucker and screwed you over in about 20 different ways, and you don't even know it.

  • I worked for a university that paid its lecturers based on years with the university and level of terminal degree (a PhD was worth $50/course than a master's degree; no extra $ for multiple degrees at any level). Everyone knew (or could have easily determined) what I earned and vice-versa. It didn't quell grumbling in the ranks, but I don't think anyone was upset by that aspect of our situation.
  • Some 30 years ago I worked for a company where discussing salary info with co-workers was cause for dismissal. Problem was, they had a boatload of titles, each title had maybe a 5k range in salary. The titles and salaries with each said title was easily available.

    The problem? Everyone had their title printed on the business cards, and the company directory listed everyone's title. So I didn't need to ask how much you made. You were a widget master 3, therefor you made from 20-25k.
  • by BoberFett ( 127537 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @06:26PM (#50171349)

    My company does management training yearly, and every time they remind us that per NLRB rules, we can't tell employees not to discuss salary info amongst themselves. And unless you're being a shitty employer to begin with and treating people unfairly, you shouldn't really care if people discuss it. As long as you can rationally explain to a judge why different people are paid differently, who cares?

  • by shuz ( 706678 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @06:34PM (#50171403) Homepage Journal

    Base salary and bonuses are not the only forms of compensation to think about. Depending on your position you may have paid conferences and training that you are sent to. You may have a paid cell phone, internet services, bring your own device voucher, new technologies voucher, company vehicles, holiday and paid time off, stock options, retirement, health and wellness benefits, coveted vendor "gifts", etc. I could share my base salary and it would be an interesting to others. But it wouldn't show all the various other ways that my company might do to keep me happy. Sometimes compensation is hard to monetize as well. For one person time off or flexible working may be more valuable than increased pay.

  • Twitter (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @06:56PM (#50171505)

    If you click through to the "article," you'll get a long list of ten-word sentences formatted as tweets. When did this become an even remotely acceptable way of presenting something?

    Good lord. If you work for Google, can't you figure out how to create a blog? My mother did it.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Thursday July 23, 2015 @10:47PM (#50172495)

    If your employer/manager implies otherwise, or discriminates against you in any way for discussing compensation, they are in legal hot water.

    In practice, sharing your salary in personally identifiable way is probably not beneficial for your career. Coworkers who earn less are likely to be resentful, and those who earn more may feel you must be somehow inferior. Sites like glassdoor are probably the best balance of transparency and privacy.

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