It’s certainly heart-rending when you find out that you are underpaid, while your colleagues receive more salary for the same work that you do! This isn’t uncommon and happens in every workplace, just that all affected employees aren’t aware of it.
While your company may claim that your colleagues also receive the same compensation as you, the story might be different. Directly asking your HR about what other employees are earning isn’t the right thing, but you can determine it in an ethical way.
In this article, we’ll discuss some signs that your colleagues are on a higher salary than you. We’ll even discuss salary transparency and what the New York law says about it.
How to Find Out if Your Colleagues on the Same Level Are Being Paid More Than You
With a little research and scrutiny, you can find out if your colleagues receive more salary than you despite the same job title and responsibilities. We’ve listed multiple ways to do it, so you can be sure about it before discussing it with your Human Resources (HR) manager or other higher authorities such as the Vice President (VP).
Ask Your Colleagues
If you have a good relationship with your colleagues, consider asking them about their salaries. Be aware that this can be a sensitive topic for some people, so it’s important to approach the conversation with tact and respect.
For example, you could say something like, “I was wondering if you’d be comfortable sharing what your salary is? I’m trying to get a better sense of how compensation works in our field.” If your colleagues are open to sharing, you may be able to get a better sense of whether you’re being paid fairly.
Glassdoor is an online platform where organizations post information on salaries, job listings, and reviews. You can use it to research salaries for your position at your company or in your industry more broadly.
Keep in mind that the data on Glassdoor is self-reported, so it may not be completely accurate or up-to-date. It can still give you an idea of whether you’re being paid equally as other employees.
However, there’s a catch, the organization might raise the salary to attract new talent to the company, so you shouldn’t take it otherwise. Also, skim through the roles and responsibilities to ensure they match your job description if a gap in the salary exists.
Understand the Company’s Pay Scale
Some companies have transparent pay ranges or pay band that outlines the salary or pay range for each position. If your company has transparent salaries, you may be able to get a sense of whether your colleagues are being paid at the higher end of the range while you are being paid at the lower end.
Conduct Market Research
Glassdoor gives you an idea of how much your colleagues might be making, but you cannot count on this information to take action. Therefore, thorough market research is required if you are looking for concrete evidence.
By understanding the current market landscape, you can determine the typical salary range for your job title and experience level. It can help you better understand whether you’re being paid fairly compared to others in your industry. Resources like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, PayScale, and Salary.com can be useful for your research.
Check Your Contract and Company Policies
It’s important to review your employment contract and any company policies related to compensation to ensure that you’re being paid in accordance with the agreed-upon terms. Make sure to check for any bonuses or benefits that you may be entitled to but are not receiving.
Going through the contract will clear the picture if your colleagues are getting paid higher than you for the same job role.
Signs That Your Colleagues Are on a Higher Salary Than You
Periodically throughout your career it’s natural to wonder if you are being paid fairly as others. However, if you aren’t sure about it, there are certain signs to look out for. By recognizing these signs, you can easily determine if you are underpaid and plan your next course of action.
Your Salary is Less Than the Industry Standards
Since you’ve already used the online job listings to get an idea of the industry standards in terms of salary, you now know if you are underpaid or not. Similarly, consider the industry standards to determine if your salary is less than your colleagues.
For example, if you are making $1,000 a month to write codes, and your colleague makes $1,500 for the same role, there is a substantial gap of $500. Either the gap can be in the form of salary or other perks such as stocks, health insurance, and bonuses.
Your Responsibilities Have Changed, But Your Salary Didn’t
In the workplace, every employee dreams of growing and flourishing with time. And growing means growth in salary as well, which comes with a set of new responsibilities.
If your responsibilities have changed, but the salary is still the same, it could indicate that you are underpaid. Sometimes, companies try to keep the job title the same but add a few more responsibilities on the employee to fend off any legal troubles.
However, if your colleagues also got their responsibilities changed, they might be getting paid more for it.
Your Compensation Package Differs From Your Colleagues- Not in a Good Way
Did you find out your colleagues are getting better health benefits or more PTO? If you notice that your compensation package differs from your colleagues in a negative way, such as receiving fewer benefits, a lower bonus, or a smaller salary increase, it could be a sign that you are being paid less than your co-workers.
It is especially true if you have similar job titles, responsibilities, and experience levels. While there may be valid reasons for differences in compensation, such as differences in performance or tenure, if you consistently receive less compensation than your colleagues, it’s a sign that you are on a lower salary than your colleagues.
💡 Pro Tip: It may be worth exploring the reasons for these differences in compensation and having a conversation with your manager or HR representative to see if adjustments can be made.
You haven’t Negotiated a Raise Recently or Ever
If you haven’t negotiated a raise recently, there could be chances that your colleagues are making more money for the same work you do. While many companies have annual performance reviews where salary increases are discussed, it is not uncommon for employees to go several years without a raise.
This can be the case if you are a long-term employee with no significant change in responsibilities or job title. Sometimes, you only get paid more when you negotiate with your employer, and if your colleagues have negotiated already, probably, they’re making more money.
You Haven’t Had a Performance Review, But Your Colleagues Have
Performance reviews are a valuable tool for employees to receive feedback and for employers to evaluate performance and make decisions about salary increases, promotions, and professional development opportunities.
If you have been with your company for a significant amount of time and have not had a performance review recently, it may be a sign that your employer does not prioritize performance evaluation or does not value your contributions to the company.
Without regular feedback, it can be difficult to understand how your employer perceives your work and whether you are meeting expectations. If your colleagues have timely performance reviews, they may be getting a pay raise as well.
There could be many reasons why you haven’t received a performance review. For example, if you asked your manager not to increase your workload, they may not consider you eligible for a performance review. But if it is due to bias or discrimination, it’s illegal and violates the equal pay act.
Are the signs clear that your colleagues are on a higher salary than you? If this is due to favoritism or discrimination, you can legally take action against the employer.
Contact Levine & Blit, and discuss your case with the most experienced and qualified labor attorneys. We’ll tell you if your employer is paying you fairly while looking for evidence of discrimination or other unethical activities.
Call us today 866-351-0116 to schedule a free consultation.
What is Salary Transparency?
Traditionally, employers used to keep salary information confidential, as this allowed companies to negotiate salaries individually with each employee. However, it created disparities in pay between employees who are equally qualified and perform similar work.
So, some states formed their own laws requiring employers to openly share information about employee compensation with all members of an organization. Salary transparency refers to the practice of openly sharing information about employee compensation with all members of an organization.
It also involves making salary information available to employees, job candidates (via job postings or online job ads), and sometimes even the general public.
What is Salary Transparency Legislation in New York?
New York City has implemented several measures aimed at promoting salary transparency and addressing pay equity. According to the law, employers in New York are required to provide new hires with written notice of their pay rate and any other compensation or benefits they will receive.
Additionally, employers with 100 or more employees are required to report data on their employees’ pay and demographics to the city’s Commission on Human Rights, which helps promote pay transparency.
Is it Legal For New York City Employees to Discuss Their Salary?
Section 194 of the Labor Law forbids employers from restricting employees from discussing, inquiring about, or dissolving wages with other employees. The law gives you the right to discuss your salary ranges with your colleagues, and your employer cannot take legal action against you for this act.
Why is it Important to Discuss Salary and Pay Openly With Colleagues?
When it comes to discussing their salary with their coworkers, some employees may wonder if it’ll affect their professional and personal relations or if there are any negative consequences.
Well, discussing your salary among your colleagues can promote a healthy culture while it can uncover if there exists an income inequality in your organization.
Here are some solid reasons why it is important to discuss your salary and pay openly with colleagues.
It Tells You if You’re Being Paid Fairly
An open discussion about the salary or pay benefits can help you and other employees know about the pay gap. For example, if your coworker is getting better health insurance than most employees, it could be due to favoritism in the workplace.
It Prevents Discrimination
Workplace discrimination is prevalent, and there are many ways employers discriminate against employees. For example, if an employee decides to become a whistleblower in a case that was against the manager, it can affect their growth in the company. (Read and know about 5 types of discrimination in the workplace)
Since retaliation can attract lawsuits and legal consequences for the company, employers usually discriminate against the employee subtly. Such employees either receive less salary or don’t receive the perks they are entitled to.
When salary transparency exists in a company, it helps current employees understand if they are being discriminated against by the employer.
You Can Consider a Performance Review
You can talk to your manager about it if you haven’t yet opted for a performance review. When employees discuss pay and salary, they also discuss if they had a performance review or if there was a change in their responsibilities.
Discussing the salary can encourage you and other employees to climb the corporate ladder for better pay.
It Can Boost Your Confidence
Another reason why it’s suggested to have a discussion with your colleagues’ regarding salary is the confidence boost you can get. When you know you are being paid fairly and your employer takes care of you by providing all benefits other employees receive, it can enhance your productivity.
What to Do if You Are Not Being Paid Fairly?
If, after due diligence, you’ve concluded that your colleagues are on a higher salary than you despite the same job title and key responsibilities, it’s time to take things to the next level. Below we’ve mentioned some steps you must follow to get the pay you deserve.
Talk to Your HR
Since the matters of pay and salary are sensitive, the first person you should talk to should be the HR manager. Tell them about the cause of concern, and try to know why you are being paid less than your coworkers.
It would be great if you could take notes such as writing the salary formula used by the company. Try to pay attention to the reasons described by HR. Most of the time, the reasons provided by HR are valid.
Try to Negotiate
If the reasons don’t have a strong ground, there’s room for salary negotiations. Try to negotiate your salary with HR, and give them valid reasons why you deserve a raise.
Seek Legal Help
If things don’t seem to work out between you and HR, it’s time to seek legal advice. According to the Equal Pay Act, employers cannot discriminate against employees or decide their salary based on race, religion, or other protected characteristics.
Contact an experienced labor lawyer in New York and set up a free consultation. Discuss everything about your case, and the attorney will help you understand if the salary gap is justifiable.
If required, the lawyers will suggest a legal route, and you can file a complaint against the employer if there is evidence of discrimination.
Time to Re-Evaluate Your Earnings? Contact Levine & Blit for Expert Salary and Benefits Guidance
Talking to your HR about the salary gap may backfire, and things can get even more complicated, especially in an at-will state like New York. It’s crucial to have legal advice to understand how you can tackle such situations without letting them affect your professional relations.
Levine & Blit helps you throughout the process as we begin by assessing the situation to determine if there exists a salary gap and if it is due to discrimination. Next, we help you negotiate with the employer, and if things don’t work out, we help you file a complaint.
As your professional labor law attorneys, we understand the tactics employers play to avoid legal consequences, so we decode their methods to help you get justice.