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If you don't ask but the applicant volunteers, does that open disclosure "sharing" automatically make them toxic? That would seem to be discriminatory, in itself.

In the spirit of full disclosure (and attribution), I had a former boss who's response to this job candidate's statement almost certainly would have been something along the lines of, ". . . it's good thing for all of us that stupidity doesn't qualify as a protected category". She was a pretty wise woman.

And isn't it one of "Brennan's Laws", that when people say that "they want to be receive "cost-of-living" pay", what they're really saying is that they want to find an employer who's willing to provide them with a salary equal to the level at which they live? That's always been one of my particular favorites!

Actually, I want to be paid to live like Donald Trump lives. I want HIS cost of living applied to my salary.


I'm no staffing (or legal) expert, but I think that my colleague (who knows more about both) would say that in our current litigious environment, it is best to avoid the potential of getting into a conversation where a candidate or an employee "voluntarily shares" information that you are not supposed to factor into a hiring/term decision.

And yeah - we'd all like Donald Trump's cost of living applies to our salaries.


Hard to know anymore where the lines of protected categories are drawn, I think. Can't, therefore, blame us for erring on the cautious side.

I think Brennan's law does indeed apply in this circumstance!

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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