Your Salary Is (probably) Public Information

In America, people in general don’t talk about money and salary. Personal finance is highly guarded as personal privacy in American culture.

We don’t know what our coworkers in the next cubicles make. Some don’t even know what other family members make. We don’t ask our friends what they make. People feel more comfortable talking about almost anything else than salary.

There is a sense of secrecy. With that comes a sense of peace. Once the secrecy is out, the peace is gone. Feelings of unfairness and resentment will surface. For a good reason.

Last week’s article in Woodbury Bulletin about Woodbury High School principal Linda Plante taking District 833 to court over pay disparities has probably caused some curious minds to wonder about the salaries principals or teachers make in Minnesota.

If you are a teacher, or a public employee including federal, state, county and city employee, your salary is public information. You are out of luck for privacy.

The following are just a few databases you can search for salary information.

Minnesota Public School Salaries

Salaries for public employees, including state, county, municipal governments and universities

Federal salary database 2011

This page links to federal, state, county, municipal government employee salaries and directories of employees nationwide.

We live in an unfair world. That’s for sure. Even little kids know that. They say this all the time: “That’s not fair.”

Unfairness, unequal treatment, and discrimination exist everywhere in the workplace, in pay, promotion, work assignments, etc.

I applaud people like Plante, and especially my friend Wang Ping who had the courage to stand up and take Macalester College to court for unfair treatment and discrimination.  I wrote about her case in several posts recently.