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discussion of pay forbidden

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  • Original Poster

    #61
    Originally posted by McGurk View Post

    The question about previous compensation is illegal in certain, but not all states:

    https://www.bna.com/ask-salary-history-n73014470106/

    Asking this question in the recruiting process is the sign off a lazy or ineffective HR department. Your offer should be based on market data, not on your salary history. If the organization isn't participating in one of the major comp surveys, the data on Glassdoor.com and Salary.com is reasonably accurate.

    If you're talking to a recruiter and they ask this question, the correct response is "My target is between $xx and $yyy, depending on the total benefits package. Is this job within that range?"

    If they ask again, a possible answer is "What I was paid at XYZ company isn't relevant to the skills and experience I could bring to this position. Why don't we talk about what I can bring to the table?"
    I like the way you put it!!!
    "Friend" me !

    http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

    Comment


    • #62
      When all else fails.....read the law.....or a DOL summary

      https://www.dol.gov/wb/media/pay_secrecy.pdf

      The NJ Statue.....along with those of a few other states are here.

      New Jersey:

      Title 10. Civil Rights

      Sec. 10:5-12. Unlawful employment practices, discrimination.

      11. It shall be an unlawful employment practice, or, as the case may be, an unlawful discrimination:
      r. For any employer to take reprisals against any employee for requesting from any other employee or former employee of the employer information regarding the job title, occupational category, and rate of compensation, including benefits, of any employee or former employee of the employer, or the gender, race, ethnicity, military status, or national origin of any employee or former employee of the employer, regardless of whether the request was responded to, if the purpose of the request for the information was to assist in investigating the possibility of the occurrence of, or in taking of legal action regarding, potential discriminatory treatment concerning pay, compensation, bonuses, other compensation, or benefits. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require an employee to disclose such information about the employee herself to any other employee or former employee of the employer or to any authorized representative of the other employee or former employee.
      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
      Alfred A. Montapert

      Comment


      • #63
        lmao

        Yanno, there's something about certain tennets of "professionalism" that really are just a way to sweep illegal or unethical things under the rug. I once had a job where I was a salaried barn manager being paid the equivalent of $3.00/hour at a facility that took $$ out of my paycheck for an included apartment space that was a) a shared living space and b) not even really used by me. And then, despite having been assured of a place to keep my horse at the time, the lady that I worked for decided that I needed to pay board because it was "fair to the other staff," nvm that I was a salaried employee and that the other staff were hourly riding instructors. Totally different scenario.

        Super long story on why I didn't bounce immediately, but to cut it short, after I left, I started talking with the hired stable workers that were paid a salary for a scheduled amount of days they did chores (which was... half of what I made, but on a part time schedule). They had NO IDEA that an apartment that was shared by all staff was part of how their total pay was factored in, and they had NO IDEA that I, as a full-time salaried barn manager, was being criminally underpaid in addition to having to pay board on my horse. The insult to injury on that one was, after I left, the barn owner's best friend came back into the picture and the "staff" apartment became off-limits to staff, with absolutely no change in pay.

        And I won't even get into the fiasco that was the sick days and vacation leave.

        But, uh, yeah. Being able to be transparent about your salary is important imo (even if you choose not to talk about it, it's still YOUR choice, ultimately), and being expressly forbidden to talk about these things for fear of losing your job is a big fat red flag imo. I've also worked in several corporate fields that did this, and later found out that there was all kinds of arbitrary choices and discrimination going into how much some people got paid (or not paid.) -shrugs-

        As an aside, are there any kinds of unions that horse people/stable works can join?

        Comment


        • #64
          The problem with comparing salaries is that it is based upon the assumption that any two people do a specific job equally as well and therefore should be compensated the same. That assumption is false. If you hire two people at the same time, who have the same qualifications and the same amount experience, one of those people will be superior to the other. That is just the way it is. The person with the superior performance should be paid more.

          The problem with comparisons is that it will always leave both parties unhappy. The weaker performer never sees themselves as the weaker performer and gets mad because they aren't paid as much. The stronger performer ends up unhappy because they know they are better at the job and thinks they should be paid even more. It is human nature.

          I have always told people that as you move up in management responsibilities the hardest thing to deal with is knowing what everyone else makes.
          A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

          Comment


          • #65
            "As an aside, are there any kinds of unions that horse people/stable works can join?"
            ..... Well, there is CoTH...

            Honestly, it doesn't surprise me in the least, your story about the fees for the shared apartment and being charged board after you're already working there. Shady employers continue to try to pull these kind of things and unless folks talk about it and others can comment, (g) you never knows how unscrupulous (never mind illegal) it is.

            Comment


            • #66
              I will the "alternative voice" here.

              There are at least 2, maybe 3, topics being discussed in this thread:
              1.) The legality (or not) of discussing compensation among workers;
              2.) Employers retaliating against employees who discuss their salary;
              3.) The actual pay received by employees.

              For Items 1 & 2, there are state laws that govern the topic. If you have been fired because you discussed your salary, your state's Dept. of Labor will provide some guidance on recourses available. If you feel so aggrieved, go for it...hire a lawyer....take your employer to court....have fun.

              As far as Item #3, when people get a job, there is usually a discussion about pay. If you complain about what you are (or are not) being paid, did you not know what your pay was going to be?

              If the employer unilaterally changes the pay after you have been hired, then there is the option of walking out the door and let the employer deal with the horses.

              As a female engineer 40 from years ago when it was typical for women to be paid less than men, I had a boss who advised me to "shop my resume" every 2-3 years to make sure I was getting market rates. The same applies to barn work. The door swings both ways.....
              Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
              Alfred A. Montapert

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                I will the "alternative voice" here.

                As a female engineer 40 from years ago when it was typical for women to be paid less than men, I had a boss who advised me to "shop my resume" every 2-3 years to make sure I was getting market rates. The same applies to barn work. The door swings both ways.....
                I worked for a Fortune 500 tech company right out of college. The advice was to shop around on occasion and when you got an offer to come back and use it for leverage. The joke was if they matched or exceeded it, you had a future with the company. If they told you good luck with the new position then you really had no future anyway.

                A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

                Comment


                • #68
                  A policy that threatens an employee with termination if they discuss their salary is clearly designed to hide the fact that they are underpaying some people. The ages old cult of secrecy around salary benefits the employer and never the employee.
                  "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by mswillie View Post
                    A policy that threatens an employee with termination if they discuss their salary is clearly designed to hide the fact that they are underpaying some people. The ages old cult of secrecy around salary benefits the employer and never the employee.
                    I don't disagree about some employers wanting to "hide" what they pay......

                    But I will also take the employer's perspective and say that sometimes one person's view of what is considered "underpaid" is another view of being "properly compensated."

                    No one is making anyone work for an employer.

                    Employment is a MUTUAL contract between the buyer (potential employer buying labor) and the seller (employee selling his/her labor).
                    Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                    Alfred A. Montapert

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

                      I don't disagree about some employers wanting to "hide" what they pay......

                      But I will also take the employer's perspective and say that sometimes one person's view of what is considered "underpaid" is another view of being "properly compensated."

                      No one is making anyone work for an employer.

                      Employment is a MUTUAL contract between the buyer (potential employer buying labor) and the seller (employee selling his/her labor).
                      Very wise comments and observations.

                      G.
                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

                        I don't disagree about some employers wanting to "hide" what they pay......

                        But I will also take the employer's perspective and say that sometimes one person's view of what is considered "underpaid" is another view of being "properly compensated."

                        No one is making anyone work for an employer.

                        Employment is a MUTUAL contract between the buyer (potential employer buying labor) and the seller (employee selling his/her labor).
                        And that's how they got away with paying women who were as qualified, or more so, significantly less than their male colleagues. For decades. Corporate America always wants to pay as little as possible for labor. If they can threaten people with termination for discussing compensation in order to hide wage disparity they will.

                        If there is a difference in compensation because of job performance, education, or what have you, a good manager should be able to set goals for a lower paid employee so that they can improve. "Properly compensated" for most employers is the least amount they can pay and get away with it.

                        I agree with the person who says to shop your resume every few years. It's well worth the time and effort.

                        Edited to add that I agree that employment is a mutual contract. That's one of the reasons employers would have this policy in place. They don't want their brightest, and most productive workers to realize they're being screwed.
                        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Comments in blue....

                          Originally posted by mswillie View Post

                          And that's how they got away with paying women who were as qualified, or more so, significantly less than their male colleagues. For decades. Corporate America always wants to pay as little as possible for labor. If they can threaten people with termination for discussing compensation in order to hide wage disparity they will.

                          It is not personal....it is business. If the cost of a manufactured part is 80% labor, then the manufacturer will seek to have lowest cost labor. This will be either in the form of off-shoring production, paying less for local production, or buying machines to do the work of humans.....that old "capital (investment in machines) vs labor (human effort)" discussion.

                          If there is a difference in compensation because of job performance, education, or what have you, a good manager should be able to set goals for a lower paid employee so that they can improve. "Properly compensated" for most employers is the least amount they can pay and get away with it.

                          The more you write rules, the more people will game the rules.

                          Even in a "union shop" with "standardized rules and pay" people know who are the good workers vs the slackers. Unfortunately, people are not standardized.

                          If you had a critical job and you knew the perfect person for the role, you had to play by the rule book....so management did.....and wrote the job description such that only one specific individual would be best qualified for the role. Amazingly enough, that one person just happened to be the one management wanted to fill the role. But management plays by the rules.

                          I suggest reading up on the rules for the game of college admissions and how Harvard is play the rules for that game.


                          I agree with the person who says to shop your resume every few years. It's well worth the time and effort.
                          Everyone should know what they are worth in the market place.

                          There is no longer corporate loyalty....either the corporation to its employees or employees to employer. It used to be that employees stuck around because of "golden handcuffs"....eg., a pension....that is no longer the case, so knowing what you are worth (called benchmarking) is important to ensure you are getting paid the market wage.
                          Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                          Alfred A. Montapert

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by pluvinel View Post

                            No one is making anyone work for an employer.
                            I think it's worth mentioning that many of the people that end up in these kinds of situations are younger. Teenagers, even, but also young adults. Most teenagers really have no idea what they're worth, and the same can be said for young adults. Many teenagers and young adults end up going to work for trainers and riders that they look up to or even idolize, and there can be a lot of confusion and uncertainty on how to handle your idols maybe not behaving well or treating you fairly. I've talked to a lot of people who have stuck in bad situations because of promises made, or the thin tendril of hope that they'll change. Heck, I've been that person.

                            For live-in situations, sometimes leaving isn't so easy. Finding another place to live on short notice can be a challenge, and some people end up not even having their own cars when they go to a working student, intern, stable worker, or other related position that provides on-site lodging.

                            Likewise, if people have brought their horses, it can be a challenge to get those horses moved to a safe location. Between finding a place to relocate the horse, arranging for transportation, and all of the other details that go into this - as well as walking a potentially thin line where fear of reprisal against you for choosing to leave may be shifted onto the horse's welfare.

                            Speaking for myself, one of the biggest reasons that I stayed was because I had a mare with a pelvic injury that was on stall rest for the entire winter season, and the rationale was that at least at this farm I was taking care of her every day, and could supervise how others took care of her, and she had a safe, warm stall to hang out in. The alternative was, I had no place to take her back to, and I was hard-pressed to find a stable that had an open stall, that was close enough for me to visit, and within my budget post-quitting my job.

                            And, of course, not everyone is able to line up a job for immediately after quitting their job.

                            -shrugs- I just think it's a little cavalier to imply that it's a matter of personal choice as to whether someone stays, without acknowledging how difficult it can be to extricate oneself out of committed barn positions.

                            Originally posted by mswillie View Post
                            If there is a difference in compensation because of job performance, education, or what have you, a good manager should be able to set goals for a lower paid employee so that they can improve. "Properly compensated" for most employers is the least amount they can pay and get away with it.
                            ^^^ But also, an employer's idea of properly compensated often does not align with the legal definitions, particularly in cases where stables pay their employees under the table.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
                              Comments in blue....



                              Everyone should know what they are worth in the market place.

                              There is no longer corporate loyalty....either the corporation to its employees or employees to employer. It used to be that employees stuck around because of "golden handcuffs"....eg., a pension....that is no longer the case, so knowing what you are worth (called benchmarking) is important to ensure you are getting paid the market wage.
                              I know it's just business. I spent 26 years in "it's just business". The only objection I have is to the "if you tell anyone what you make we'll fire you" rule.
                              "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by mswillie View Post
                                A policy that threatens an employee with termination if they discuss their salary is clearly designed to hide the fact that they are underpaying some people. The ages old cult of secrecy around salary benefits the employer and never the employee.
                                This has been a leading factor is pay discrimination against women and people of color, which why I think it's great that some employers are making steps to discourage this type of culture - open discussion about salary; not allowing potential hires to negotiate (men tend to negotiate at a much higher rate than women, which will oftentimes automatically set them behind men of similar experience levels).

                                California has made it illegal for potential employers to ask for salary history.
                                "I am but a passenger on this ship"
                                -- Stendal (epitaph)

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Disclosure: I didn't read all of this thread. But a good start in answering the original question would be to google "california pay equity law." You should find a bunch of articles talking about it and other states and what they have done in terms of discussions on salary.

                                  Comment

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