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Employer's Insensitive Response to Woman Questioning Low Salary Goes Viral; Netizens React

The employee approached the boss after finding out that they were the lowest-paid person despite being the senior-most team member.
Cover Image Source: Boss's reply to employee about her salary enrages netizens | TikTok | @ben.askins
Cover Image Source: Boss's reply to employee about her salary enrages netizens | TikTok | @ben.askins

Salary negotiations and timely increments are regular in corporate work culture, but sometimes these discussions may turn unpleasant, often making it to social media platforms or job search portals in the digital age. The latest absurd exchange between an employer and employee has been shared by popular creator Ben Askins, known for talking about workplace ethics. The texts showed how the employee approached the boss after finding out that they were the lowest-paid member on the team despite being seniormost, only to be dismissed by the boss. "Hi Elliot, just found out I am the lowest paid in the whole team. That is despite the fact I have been here the longest and also one of the most senior," read the first text by the employee Christina, to which the boss writes, "Hi Christina, who told you that?"

Image Source: TikTok | Ben Askins
Image Source: TikTok | Ben Askins

When Christina told her boss that it doesn't matter who had informed her, he wrote back, "It does matter. This is not an appropriate topic of discussion for the workplace" prompting Christina to ask if it was true. Finally, her boss said, "I don't know what you want me to say, they just got lucky we hired them when we were struggling to find people, and so we were forced to pay a bit more."

TikTok | SirNedos
TikTok | SirNedos

"And you didn't think the fair thing would be to include me in that?" Christina writes, to which the boss writes, "Why would we? Your salary was decided at a different time and you never asked."

After reading the exchange, Ben Askins stopped to slam the response, saying, that it's legal to discuss salaries with your colleagues and to "never let a company tell you otherwise," he says. "If a company’s trying to hide it, or be dodgy in any way, it’s almost certainly because they are clipping pay," he adds. 

Askin then tagged the boss's response as "idiotic" and noted it would be more expensive for him to replace her than it would be to increase the salary. After the heartless reply from the boss, Christina said that she would like to formally request a pay increase to reflect the role and her seniority in the company.

According to TDC Global general manager and solutions director Sommer Nisbet there is a "taboo" associated with discussing salaries in the workplace, via NY Post.

TikTok | Kealey
TikTok | Kealey

"Cultural norms, assumptions about ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in pay discussions, and the slow alignment of workplaces with principles of equity and inclusivity have all played a part," she said. "Many leaders may be on edge about pay transparency as it can be seen to increase conflict. However, conflict is a natural occurrence in any organization, so discussions around pay should not seek to avoid conflict but rather resolve it," she added. 

@ben.askins Boss tries to get away with UNDERPAYING senior member of staff... #badboss #toxiccompanies #react #redflags ♬ original sound - Ben Askins


Many in the comment section shared their own experiences, with one employee Katharine Hart50 saying, "Happened at my old job. Had specific meetings about how we are NOT to discuss pay. I work in finance and found out someone I trained and had 15 years less experience was making $20k more than me." "It’s ridiculous for everyone in the company to expect raises when we are forced to pay more to attract new hires," BusyInBusiness writes, to which Want to see my chicken? writes, "Yep you just proved loyalty doesn’t mean anything anymore!"

For more workplace-related content, you can follow Ben Askins on TikTok.