Worker Finds List of Salaries, Says Staff Being 'Ripped Off' in Viral Post

A systems engineer sought advice from Reddit after seeing a list of companywide salaries, claiming all but a few "are getting ripped off," which has prompted many people to offer up their recommendations on the matter.

The post, shared to the "Antiwork" subreddit, is titled "Leaving my job and found a list of all salaries at the company... What do I do?" It's been upvoted over 10,500 times since being posted on March 1.

The Redditor, going by the name u/ihavealotofquests, revealed they recently put in their two weeks' notice working at a company of around 600 employees. "My company is known well for underpaying staff badly," the original poster (OP) said. "It is the main reason I am leaving."

The Redditor revealed while helping an office manager they had to copy files from their personal network folder. When the OP was back at their desk, they opened a few of the files by mistake and one was an excel report of company salaries.

The OP continued: "It's so much worse than I thought. Everyone except the few at the top (maybe 30 people) are getting ripped off. Those few at the top? They're getting it made. I'm talking $550K a year for executives when a supervisor that works twice as many hours makes $60K a year."

Unhappy and confused man
A worker found a list of salaries, claiming the staff is getting "ripped off" in a viral Reddit post. Here, an unhappy and confused man in front of a computer. FIZKES/GETTY

According to Statista, the average annual salary in the U.S. in 2020 equated to $69,392. That's an increase from the previous year of $66,383 a year in pay.

The Redditor revealed they wanted to share the information, but they didn't know how to go about it. "I don't want to get in any legal trouble too," they added. "I thought about just printing it out and stapling it to the breakroom corkboard."

In an update, the OP claimed they took another Redditor's advice, sharing the information with two co-workers. "If they share it, that'll be their decision," they concluded.

The advice came pouring in for the OP with over 700 comments, and people didn't hold back with what they thought the Redditor should do.

One comment garnered 9,900 upvotes on its own. "Pull a Regina George," a Redditor weighed in. "Print out a bunch of copies, leave them all around the office anonymously, and sit back and watch everyone go nuts."

While another Redditor thinks the worker should print out the excel sheet and leave several copies on various printers. "If nobody notices it, go take a copy from a high traffic printer and leave it face-up on top of the printer so that the next person sees it," they added. "Less subtle, but f*** these people."

However, some had warnings about printing out the information. "If you print it at work most IT departments could quickly trace it to you," a user said. "Bring a copy from home, print something else, then exchange leaving the salary page while taking your printout."

While one Redditor figured the information only needs "to get into the hands of a few key people, and the news will travel fast. That being said, keep receipts."

A Redditor thinks the OP has "so much power right now," adding, "I'd say make an anonymous email account and send it to everyone in the company. You have the potential to make big changes."

Another person suggested going to a public library and creating a Glassdoor account. "Type out the salaries and titles in a review," they said. "Do the same on Blind. Create a Gmail, and email some of the people at the company with the same."

But some had easier ways of going about getting the information out there. "Just drop one copy on the desk of the most gossipy person there," a Redditor wrote. "It will make its way around."

One user thinks it benefits only the employer to hide salaries from employees. "Definitely distribute the original file, but I don't know how," they added. "Probably put it on Google Docs."

Newsweek reached out to u/ihavealotofquests for comment.