This week’s question comes from Sharon H in Santa Rosa: “I am in the midst of a job search and I’m often asked for a salary history. As a woman, I feel uncomfortable with this question, as it seems to place me at an immediate disadvantage when negotiating my salary, especially in competing with male candidates. Are potential employers allowed to ask me that?”
Amanda from San Francisco asks, “I work for a fast growing company with offices in San Francisco and San Jose. We have been extremely busy. My manager told me I am excellent in my position but recognized my department needed help to handle the workload. I was ecstatic. My manager even asked me to meet with the job finalists and offer my opinion on whom we should hire. I like the employee the company hired and gladly trained him over the past few weeks.
Everything was fine until I discovered that my employer is paying my new co-worker more than me, by several thousand dollars. We have the same duties and responsibilities. Since I helped with the interviews, I know I have more experience in our industry than him. We both have college degrees.
He works out of our San Jose office and I work in our San Francisco office. Other than office location, the only difference I can see is that he is a man and I am a woman. Are they allowed to do this? I want to complain to my manager but I’m also worried that I will get in trouble because I inquired about my co-worker’s salary.”