What should I do about HR staffer who’s discussing pay? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

What should I do about HR staffer who’s discussing pay?

by on
in The HR Specialist Forum

Question: "I have reason to believe one of my employees in HR (who has access to everyone’s salary info) has been gossiping about what we pay various employees. I gave the standard speech about confidentiality during a meeting, but it seems this talk has continued. What’s next? An investigation? A stern but general talking to? A formal reprimand? I’m really dreading whatever it is."—HR DIR


Comments

At our company this is strictly forbidden by policy. We would hold a disciplinary hearing and the recommendation would more than likely be for termination of employment. This type of employee not only releases confidential information but also undermines the working relationships within the company. TROUBLEMAKER! No company needs an employee like this.

You state that you "have reason to believe". Until you can prove it there is nothing you can do except talk to the employee about confidentiality in general terms without accusing. Of course, one way to find out if it is true is to ask the employee. They might surprise you and admit it. If not, you will have to chase down the rumors. ugh!

If an HR employee is violating confidentiality, he or she should be reprimanded, and if the behavior continues, terminated. The employees of your company deserve to know that what HR knows stays in HR.

If an HR employee violates trust, they need to be let go. Of course, make sure the rumors are true and do a good investigation, but ultimately, confidentiality is one of the most important qualifications of an HR staff member at all levels.

If someone is violating confidentiality regarding salaries, I would be very concerned about what other information she may be "sharing". Personally and professionally, I see this as a deal breaker. Do your homework and if you have solid evidence, she should be terminated for violation of company policy.

Leave a Comment