Something at work isn't sitting right with me. Are they allowed to do this?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 2
5968 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017


FromA2B2013:  Im confused. When you say performance related pay, I immediately thought you mean that any raises you get would be based on your reviews. In that case, a pay scale isn’t really something they would have. Is this what you mean by performance related pay?

Post # 3
339 posts
Helper bee

FromA2B2013:  A private company isnt required to divulge that kind of information if they dont want to. Yes giving this info would be good for moral and transparency reasons but then you run into the issue of some people being angry because they arent making as much as others etc. Im at a company where we get a set starting salary and there is a lock-step raise for the first 2 years. After that, the raise is subjective so it completely depends on budget, performance, how others performed, whether you brought business to the company, how much business you brought etc. Its kind of hard to put that in a formula imo.

Post # 5
2367 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

That makes a lot of sense actually. To determine pay tiers, they need to establish a baseline. The reviews help them figure out what an average employee’s performance level is. Normally, the majority of employees will fall in that average category. They do their job well, no major issues, and nothing particularly notable or outstanding. Some will be in the top tier – these are people that go above and beyond consistently. And the bottom tier, which are mostly people that show up for a paycheck, the ones that you never give an important task to. 

A lot of times, an employer may have in their head what the average baseline is, and be totally off. If the majority of employees fall in the top or bottom tiers, either they have the best or worst employees in the world, or they need to reevaluate their standards of performance (or their hiring process). 

I wouldn’t be concerned at this point, provided you’ve had good reviews in the past.

Post # 6
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m confused, why would they ever tell you pay scales? That’s their business, not yours. What’s wrong with going to get your review, and being told what your raise will be – if you even get one?

Post # 7
2052 posts
Buzzing bee

I agree with others, letting people know what the pay scale is can breed contempt in your place of work, because often times people think “I do way more work than s/he does, why are they paid more than me??”

At my old job you didn’t know what the rates were unless you moved into that category, and you were required to keep it a secret. When I was transferred to a different group because they were short handed I was surprised to discover I’d be making almost 20% more for very similar work.

Post # 10
3833 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

FromA2B2013:  We have set ranges and performance-based pay at my job. The way it works for us is that our starting salary is somewhere in that range (based on experience, quals, negotiation, etc.) and then any raises are based on performance reviews. So, if I get good performance reviews, I will recieve gradual annual raises. Once I top out the pay scale for my position, then I’ll get one-time performance-based bonuses instead.

I might’ve seen my pay scale (I can’t remember), but I definitely don’t know what it is for other levels. 

I’m telling you this because it sounds like you will have something similar – you will be paid within a pre-set range (that you might not know), and any raises will be performance-based.

Post # 11
1193 posts
Bumble bee

FromA2B2013:  I work at a job with pay scales. We have different grade levels with a salary range for each. The grade levels and pay scales are public within the company; however, I don’t know what each individual employee is making within that scale.

I’m sure they are trying to establish the average employee’s performance to correlate that with the average pay for that type of employee. Then they can ensure its fair moving forward. 

Post # 12
894 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Both companies I worked for previously (one very, very large, one very, very small haha) had performance related pay.  Each divulged the starting salary for my position, but then as you went on, your bonuses, raises, etc were performance-based and would change.  How high or what the pay could be (or was for others) was not discussed.  

Post # 14
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

FWIW, the U.S. federal government has pay scales that they release to the public.  Google “GS pay scale” and you can easily see what people make at various levels.  However, they don’t release all pay scales.  My father is on the SK pay scale and I can’t find that anywhere online.  Personally, I think it does breed a lot of contempt and jealousy in the workplace.  Every private corporation I’ve worked for has never released their pay scales to employees.

Post # 15
187 posts
Blushing bee

As said earlier, they definitely don’t have to, and infact they can do performance based pay without a pay scale (or more accurately with an infinite pay scale)

I was offered a job out of college with very structured pay scales, and was actually offered to start in the second tier (Engineer 2 instead of Engineer 1) because otherwise my pay would top out before I was elligible for promotion (minimum of 36 months between promotions)

At the job I took instead job titles were strictly based on function, not on level of experience or anything like that. There were engineers straight out of college, and engineers with decades of experience at the same level, pay increases and bonuses were performance based, salaries ranged from about $50K to over $250k. It is entirely possible that this is the case at your work, and that while the reccomended starting salary will be simmilar for those with simmilar experience, performance based salary modifications could mean that those with the same type of duties make dramatically different amounts.

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