Someone in HR leaked my salary over lunch. Now my team knows that I make 3x they do. What to do?


I work at a small startup (~30 people) and the woman that is responsible for recruiting apparently told my salary to someone while having lunch (I don't know to who).

Now my department knows that I am getting paid almost 3x than them. It's because I have far more experience (they're almost all new graduates from college). But I can already see the change in the way I'm treated.

What recourse do I have? Isn't this against the law to begin with?

Legal Salary Human Resources

asked Mar 3 '14 at 20:06
Esther Rooker
80 points
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  • I doubt it's against the law in most places, but where are you located at? – rbwhitaker 7 years ago
  • In Seattle. – Esther Rooker 7 years ago
  • Is legal recourse worth it? Or are you just wanting to know in case you need to mention it? – Jay Neely 7 years ago
  • I used to earn ten times as much as other developers when I was contracting. It was never an issue as everyone knew I was > 10x as productive. My advice is to worry about how to excel, rather than worry about what people might think. – Steve Jones 7 years ago

6 Answers


That sucks. Legalities aside, you feel like your privacy's been violated, and that team dynamics have been negatively affected. That's worth asking your boss (/the founders) for a conversation about no matter what the cause.

Bring it up professionally, of course. The last thing you want is to have an incomplete understanding of what happened, and go in on a crusade. It's possible the recruiter never mentioned you by name. They may have only mentioned your title or position relative to a team, not knowing the person they were talking to (or someone connected to them) would be able to so easily identify you. The effect is the same, and that's what needs to be addressed foremost; center the conversation around that, and let analyzing cause and any needed consequences stem from that.

answered Mar 4 '14 at 21:01
Jay Neely
6,050 points


Ask HR to develop a career/growth plan. One that defines different job levels - based on experience and education.

This gives the colleagues insight in where they stand, where you stand and thus why there is an income difference.

answered Mar 5 '14 at 08:13
31 points


By being concerned the only thing that you display is that you yourself do not feel you deserve it!
The ideal thing would be to hold your mouth and not be instigated to escalate this, rather what you should do is PROVE it to them that you do deserve the 3x that you get, not simply because of your experience but because of your talent and ability!

If you are good enough they will not only accept this with grace but will respect you , however if you aren't good enough , even escalating such an issue won't win you your peers back, but just silent them momentarily!

answered Mar 5 '14 at 05:08
Parth Setya
61 points


Tell them that if they work hard, they can earn 3x as much too! They changed the way they treat you? So now they treat you with reverence?

answered Mar 5 '14 at 06:35
Starrychloe S.
83 points


Hmm, interesting. How do you know you make 3 times as much ? If you think it is cool for you to know the salary of your peers, why can't they know yours ? FFS, grow up !!

answered Mar 5 '14 at 04:55
-39 points


Seriously. Grow up. Not that big a deal. Man up and move on.

answered Mar 5 '14 at 06:23
-39 points
  • These answers are not constructive, and there's simply not a reason to have even one of them, let alone more than one of them. – rbwhitaker 7 years ago

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