Poll: The Salary Leak

Last Updated Feb 8, 2008 9:22 AM EST

Last week, "Where's the Line" began a series of discussions on some of the hot-button ethical issues in business today. We offer you a dilemma and let you decide who's right, who's wrong and who are just plain out of their minds. Today's dilemma deals with salaries.

Your Dilemma: You're the CEO of a small company, and one of your employees found an unprotected Excel spreadsheet on the company server that contained the salaries of everyone on staff. The spreadsheet revealed significant pay discrepancies across departments, including the fact that nearly all the women were being paid less than men in comparable positions. The staff member emailed the spreadsheet to several colleagues, which has plundered morale.

Your managers say they have a mutiny on their hands, especially among the women, and are advising you that you must take a bold step to diffuse the situation. Yet you are not in a financial position to start handing out raises.[poll id=12]Don't think we've got all the answers? Participate in this discussion and tell us what you think.

Have a workplace-ethics dilemma you'd like to talk about? Email wherestheline(at)gmail.com

  • William Baker

    William Baker is a freelance writer living in Cambridge, MA. His work has appeared in Popular Science, the Boston Globe Magazine, the New York Daily News, Boston Magazine, The Weekly Dig and a bunch of other places (including Field & Stream, though he doesn't hunt and can't really fish). He is a regular contributor to the Boston Globe, where he writes the weekly column, "Meeting the Minds." He holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is at work on his first book.