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Already Discussed... But Different Aspect... Declining to Offer Proof of Salary

powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
There was a recent thread about someone worrying about providing a W-2, and that has been hashed out; I am not looking to revisit this.

I am opposed to a request for salary history on principle, but I usually just move along to stating where I want to be. I had to provide a W-2 for my current employer only after they were not able to verify my employment by other means.

Anyhow, I have been "offered" a job, but I was immediately told they would get a formal offer out to me only after I provided my W-2, and I was assured that "it's not a big deal, everyone here has to do it."

Considering that I have a certain level of trust for the owner of the company, I acquiesced and provided the W-2. When I provided it, I qualified it by stating that I only worked for my current employer for nine months during last year, so it wouldn't be an accurate representation if the purpose of income verification (the purpose was never stated).

The recruiter that was involved replied back with a request for a pay stub, even though the owner didn't request it.

I need some assistance drafting a tactful response declining the request to provide my pay stub.

Bottom line, I don't agree with the entire business of asking salary history. If you were to turn the tables and ask what they pay other people in similar positions, they would respond with a resounding, "NO." Well, I truly feel the same way. Further, I don't need the job; I like the company and I think it would be a decent opportunity, but I feel that I have extended myself enough.

Here was my first pass:

"Respectfully, I feel that I have already provided more than enough information. On a matter of principle, I would normally have the request for a W-2 because I feel it is an invasion of privacy; however, because I trust <CompanyOwner>, I felt it safe to provide."

Seriously, I am not looking to get into the debate as to whether I should provide the information, or not; I am not providing it. I just want to make sure I don't go overboard in my response.

Thanks!
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    blargoeblargoe Member Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't see any reason to give the pay stub to any recruiter. Now, a company wanting to know your salary history, it's a game of chicken they usually win, because at the end of the day, the guy on the other side usually wants the job and will back down.
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    colemiccolemic Member Posts: 1,569 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Well, if it just to 'verify employment' then maybe redact the numbers on the W-2?

    I agree with you in principle though - my pay is my business, and not anyone else's. If they push it, and you don't need the job, I would stick to my guns.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Right, but the question is how to address that. I am going to tell them no... however, I don't want to necessarily burn any bridges. If I pass on this job, it will be the third time I have received an offer from this guy (I mean the owner of the company) and turned it down. I like his company and I at least want to have a possibility of going there in the future, but I am in no way desperate... and if they are doing this just for the purposes of verifying pay, they are going to go as low as possible... so my thought is I am not going to like the offer, anyhow.

    "Respectfully, I believe I have provided more than enough information..."

    Sounds fine as a lead in... but where from there. I can be a man of few words and leave at that, I guess.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    blargoe wrote: »
    I don't see any reason to give the pay stub to any recruiter. Now, a company wanting to know your salary history, it's a game of chicken they usually win, because at the end of the day, the guy on the other side usually wants the job and will back down.

    Yes, but I am not getting into that game... I am not providing it and I will turn down the job if that is what it means. My hot streak may end, but I have turned down three jobs this year already... and all have actually paid more than what I make, they just couldn't move to where I expect to be after this year's review.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I ended up just talking with him on the phone... I need to remember by rule there... if you are having an issue writing it down, it is more than likely better served talking about it. Writing doesn't necessarily lend well for expressing tone. We'll see if it is an issue or not.
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    DevilryDevilry Member Posts: 668
    The employer sounds pretty ridiculous.

    Let us know how the phone call goes, curious what the outcome will be.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I actually think they are alright... what I believe happened is that this is just the policy of a company that has a 20% stake in them. Many companies are starting to head down this route. I stand by my position, however. They should just work with me in negotiating my salary. I cannot stand the concept of a potential employer requesting my salary history... they won't provide me the pay history of similar employees or those that have previously held the position, nor would they be legally allowed to do so. Obviously, and especially in this economy, many folks are in a position of desperation and will just do what is asked in order to get a job; I am currently not in that position and I will stand on my principles.
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    advanex1advanex1 Member Posts: 365 ■■■■□□□□□□
    More power to you fool (see what I did there?). Glad someone can stick it to the man a bit in this economy.
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    reppgoareppgoa Member Posts: 151
    I am interested to hear how it went. I am of the same mindset. It shouldnt matter what I made where I am coming from, what matters is what you are willing to pay someone who is qualified to do the job. This post has inspired me, I will never again provide proof of salary. You either like me enough to pay me what I am worth, or you dont. I cant stand when companies try to lowball you.
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    UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,567 Mod
    I'm really glad you did that. After a long phone interview, and an extremely boring recruiter who spends 30 minutes on each phone call with me (the position in different country so no face to face interview), the new employer asked me to provide a salary certificate "to verify my current salary". They asked me more than once about my current salary and my expectations (and I answered), and they told me that my expectations are higher than what they have to offer, but I just couldn't understand the unprofessional email from the HR requesting to "verify my current salary". So I replied " Sorry, I'm not providing any salary certificate and I have no interest in working at your company anymore.".
    powerfool wrote: »
    ..; I am currently not in that position and I will stand on my principles.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I spoke with the owner on the phone last night and he said I should have an offer by tomorrow evening (Wednesday). So, we will see.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    So the offer was supposed to come through on Wednesday evening, but it didn't come until last night (Friday). It appears that they just took the W2, calculated my annual salary, and matched it for the offer. That is some weak cheese and I plan on letting him know that. First of all, I had a substantial raise last year (11%). Second, I will be getting another substantial raise(13-15%) when my review comes around so long as my current project is successful (which it will)... and that will come with a promotion.

    With that being said, they do offer opportunities to earn more income. I will be able to receive a monthly bonus based on the number of $ billed in the month, but only up to $2K. However, so long as I work enough hours to not get fired, I will get $500/month in bonus. Further, they will pay me an hourly rate for any billable work over 38 hours in a week, and 1.5x for any billable work over 46 hours a week; that being said, I don't think that my rate is enough to make me jump at that, especially considering I will likely be putting in 5-10 hours of non-billable hours a week, too. My impression, based on a quick spreadsheet, is that my base salary needs to be equivalent to what I make now to even make me take another look; with the monthly bonus, I would need to be in the third-tier on a regular basis ($1k/month bonus).

    Last of all, he rattled off a list of a few benefits... providing no details in terms of cost... and I didn't see anything mentioned about a few benefits that are very important to me (tuition reimbursement, training funds, and PTO). I am fairly sure that there is no way that their benefits will stack up to what I have... the retirement contributions already show that trend... they will only contribute 3% at a match whereas my current employer contributes 10% regardless of my contribution... which is substantial.

    Even though my raise last year was 11%... this is already looking like it will be about 25-30% lower than my total compensation, currently.

    So, what approach do you all take in countering when the gap is so huge? I am almost to the point where my response is going to be "no thanks" without even countering.
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    DevilryDevilry Member Posts: 668
    powerfool wrote: »
    So the offer was supposed to come through on Wednesday evening, but it didn't come until last night (Friday). It appears that they just took the W2, calculated my annual salary, and matched it for the offer. That is some weak cheese and I plan on letting him know that. First of all, I had a substantial raise last year (11%). Second, I will be getting another substantial raise(13-15%) when my review comes around so long as my current project is successful (which it will)... and that will come with a promotion.

    With that being said, they do offer opportunities to earn more income. I will be able to receive a monthly bonus based on the number of $ billed in the month, but only up to $2K. However, so long as I work enough hours to not get fired, I will get $500/month in bonus. Further, they will pay me an hourly rate for any billable work over 38 hours in a week, and 1.5x for any billable work over 46 hours a week; that being said, I don't think that my rate is enough to make me jump at that, especially considering I will likely be putting in 5-10 hours of non-billable hours a week, too. My impression, based on a quick spreadsheet, is that my base salary needs to be equivalent to what I make now to even make me take another look; with the monthly bonus, I would need to be in the third-tier on a regular basis ($1k/month bonus).

    Last of all, he rattled off a list of a few benefits... providing no details in terms of cost... and I didn't see anything mentioned about a few benefits that are very important to me (tuition reimbursement, training funds, and PTO). I am fairly sure that there is no way that their benefits will stack up to what I have... the retirement contributions already show that trend... they will only contribute 3% at a match whereas my current employer contributes 10% regardless of my contribution... which is substantial.

    Even though my raise last year was 11%... this is already looking like it will be about 25-30% lower than my total compensation, currently.

    So, what approach do you all take in countering when the gap is so huge? I am almost to the point where my response is going to be "no thanks" without even countering.

    Take a hard look at what brief history you have already had with this company. And consider this is the way they will handle you for your entire employment about all situation, not just salary. What does that say?
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Devilry wrote: »
    Take a hard look at what brief history you have already had with this company. And consider this is the way they will handle you for your entire employment about all situation, not just salary. What does that say?

    Well, that is why I am considering just walking now, without negotiation. I think that I will talk to him tomorrow and likely just tell him the timing isn't right. I would love to work for him if the circumstances were different, but given my personal situation (single income household with two adults in college), I just can't make these numbers work for my current level of risk.

    I want to keep the door open, in the event that I walk into work one day and our contract is terminated or for when our contracts reaches its maturity and I cannot convince the wife to temporarily move to another locale.

    I never want to burn a bridge, as you never know when you may encounter someone in the future and you may not have the upper hand. Like I said, I am doing great right now, but nothing is guaranteed. I have been humbled before... it could happen again.
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    DevilryDevilry Member Posts: 668
    powerfool wrote: »
    Well, that is why I am considering just walking now, without negotiation. I think that I will talk to him tomorrow and likely just tell him the timing isn't right. I would love to work for him if the circumstances were different, but given my personal situation (single income household with two adults in college), I just can't make these numbers work for my current level of risk.

    I want to keep the door open, in the event that I walk into work one day and our contract is terminated or for when our contracts reaches its maturity and I cannot convince the wife to temporarily move to another locale.

    I never want to burn a bridge, as you never know when you may encounter someone in the future and you may not have the upper hand. Like I said, I am doing great right now, but nothing is guaranteed. I have been humbled before... it could happen again.

    Sounds like a good plan, however, I am a firm believer to always put something on the table versus just walking away. At least at that point you can just tell them that you respectfully decline because of the same reason.
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well, we were supposed to talk last week and he never called (I told him I wanted specific information on benefits, like premium costs and coverage amounts). The recruiter contacted me on Thursday of this week to see if there was any movement. After I informed he, he contacted the owner and then let me know that he wanted to get together to go over the benefits and salary, but provided a benefits "highlights" document. What is the deal with meetings lately? It is just ridiculous. I have met with this guy on four occasions in the past two months... I don't need someone holding my hand and explaining the benefits... and I certainly am not going to have someone try and pressure me to make a decision on the spot like car salesmen do. Heck, at my last job we were trying to move to another colo facility and they just wanted to keep having meetings, even though we were already sold and we wanted a quote for the first year... we told them EXACTLY what we wanted, just send over a quote... not good enough for them, they wanted another meeting. This guy seems the same way... seems like that may be the reason why they have so much work... they can't get around to it because of all of these flipping meetings.

    Ugh...

    Well, I reviewed the benefits "highlights" document and the first thing to make me not want to make the move right now... they only have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA). Now, I like the idea of these and I have used them in the past... but not offering a more traditional plan as an option makes it simply ridiculous for me to change jobs near the end of the year. Assuming I started on November 1st, I would have to have a $3k deductible for the next two months of the year. Beyond that fact that you cannot have additional healthcare coverage with a HDHP if you want to use an HSA; my wife has been sick for the past few years and if I had to opportunity to have double coverage, I would want to take it. We had it for last year, which was great because she had three surgeries and we didn't have to pay anything out of pocket between having coverage through my employer and her employer. I guess if he were willing to bring me on as a 1099 contractor, I could just use my COBRA for the rest of the year and he could hire me as a standard employee on January 1st.

    Other negative... I didn't see a tuition reimbursement option available. Perhaps I could work something out that they "defer" some of my pay to cover some tuition. It would really make sense from a tax perspective, as the tuition reimbursement funds would be tax free... and then anything I spend beyond that I could use the tax credits on, which I would easily exceed in just one semester anyhow.

    This is assuming that the cash side could even work out. Both he and the recruiter are stating that my total monetary compensation should be much better.

    It certainly is appealing to be able to make more money for working more. I hate this working culture that has pervaded society for so long that you essentially get one shot at getting a salary increase each year... Heck, I am pretty sick of the traditional employer-employee relationship, too. I would honestly like to keep the relationship, but on a much smaller scale... like 15-25 hours a week... essentially multiple part-time jobs... more consistent than running an independent consulting shop, but more flexible than a standard full-time job. Of course, since you don't get tax breaks for purchasing your own insurance, it makes that possibility less fruitful. But, this job could turn into something like that, which is what I really like about the opportunity. I could have a small number of clients that I support on a long-term basis... and I would still be able to get benefits. And, if I want to make more money, I can work to get more business, work more hours, and actually get more pay... plus a better bonus.

    It all comes down to timing, however, even if the situation were something that I wanted. The benefits thing makes an immediate move difficult. Other benefits, like current 401k/vesting and tuition reimbursment/payback, make it difficult for me to leave next year and even the two years following. I have excellent 401k contributions from my current employer, but they are vested over six years (they give me 10% regardless of what I contribute, but after year two, I get 20% vested for each year thereafter).... and tuition reimbursement is nice but I have to pay it back if I leave within 18 months. Currently, my PTO would cover 75% of it... and it would cover 100% if I wait until the end of December. But I would rather not owe anything and then get my PTO paid out to me.

    The trials and tribulations of life...

    Anyhow, I guess that I am going to talk with this guy some time next week. I will post an update afterwards.
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