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Your HR Department is Selling Your Compensation Details to Credit Agencies

There’s always been a disturbing asymmetry between employers and employees when it comes to hiring and firing. For example, if the job applicant embellishes a bit on their resume or interview answers they can and often are fired immediately. What people forget is that employers embellish and downright lie as much, if not more, than employees. However, when the employer is caught lying the response is usually a laugh and an admonition to the employee lured in with false promises to not be so naive.

Right.

Now we discover that Equifax and HR departments are colluding to share employee’s compensation data.

“The Equifax credit reporting agency, with the aid of thousands of human resource departments around the country, has assembled…[a database]…containing 190 million employment and salary records covering more than one-third of U.S. adults…[Equifax] says [it] is adding 12 million records annually.’ This salary information is for sale: “Its database is so detailed that it contains week-by-week paystub information dating back years for many individuals, as well as … health care provider, whether someone has dental insurance and if they’ve ever filed an unemployment claim.”” (source)

There goes your last shred of leverage in negotiations along with any privacy that you may have had.

I’m not being conspiracy nut in this. This is just one more tool that HR departments can use to keep pay low for people applying for work at a company. They always ask for what your current salary is. Before an applicant could lie and tell the HR department a higher number and get offered that higher number. Now they can just check this database and see what the number actually is.

When I job switched in the past I’ve never been offered a number higher than what I currently made when I was truthful about my salary, and I screwed myself over. There was a time when I worked for a start-up and my salary was frozen for four years. When that job died I told my new employer what I was making and got offered a bit less since it was a rough job market. The raises I got at that job were less than inflation. The last time I switched I took my salary at the start of the previous job, ran it through the inflation calculator, added 10% and told that number to the new company. That was the number that I was offered, and they gave me some song and dance about it was a privilege about working in the industry when I tried to see if I could get it higher. So I got a 17% raise over my previous company.

Now with this database that tactic is no longer viable. And if you don’t tell them the current number you’re making and then check it out, they can mark you as dishonest. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me.

Get the word out if you are an employee. This is a slap in the face of the American work force.

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One Response to The Gelding of the American Workforce Speeds Up

  • > I’ve never been offered a number higher than what I currently made

    You’re doing something wrong. You’d have to really hate your current job to move for the exact same salary.

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