Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pay difference:
I am an office manager, working full time. I recently learned a coworker is making twice as much as I am, working part-time and from home. How do I handle knowing the huge discrepancy in pay and responsibility?
Signed, Feeling underpaid
Dear Feeling underpaid:
We receive this type of question quite often-which I suppose points out why so many organizations don’t let employees know what anyone is being paid. In government jobs that’s not an issue because a GS-10 is a GS-10, apart from locality pay. It is also usually not a problem in unionized work, since there is most often a clearly defined pay scale.In private enterprise, work is often paid for by value of the work to the organization overall, not by title or the responsibility for others. So, if the employee has some special skill, has been doing the work for some time, provides something the company wants and thinks they can’t get from anyone else, that may be the reason for the difference in pay. Or, if the employee is a valued member of the team for some other reason. Or, if the employee works for someone who is higher in the organization and that higher person views that anyone reporting to them should be at a higher wage. Or,if the employee has education or training, or is available for after hours work, or handles special tasks or some other issue, for which a salary perk is provided. Or, the employee may be friends with someone who has authority over wages and has convinced them that he or she is worth the extra money, and friendships come into play when figuring the wage.