My friend is facing the following problem:
Her boss left his computer open and she then looked at his screen, where the salary of a coworker at her level (who since has left the company) was displayed. As his salary was quite a lot higher than hers, she was shocked and told a coworker about it, and also her boss. In a pre-emptive strike, he reported it to the management but says that she went through his email, essentially accessing his computer without consent.
Now human resources has written her an email, asking her to answer some questions until next week. Her answers would then lead to a decision whether disciplinary actions would follow.
The questions are:
- How did you find out about the salary?
- Who did you share the information with?
- Why did you think it is ok to discuss this with the colleagues you discussed it with?
- What did you expect to gain from discussing third-party salaries with colleagues
Was my friend in the wrong in what she did? And how should she respond to these questions from HR in order to best protect herself?