This Woman Is Going Viral On Twitter For Reapplying For Her Own Job After She Saw It Posted With A Higher Salary

Have you ever found out that a new person at your job was getting paid more than you to do basically the same work? If so, you're not alone. According to one study, companies pay new hires 7% more on average than their existing employees, but taboos about sharing salary info have historically kept these discrepancies hidden.

Woman shushing someone in a business meeting
Jackf / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Well, recently, a salary transparency law enacted in New York has companies actually putting a pay range in their job postings (FINALLY!). But it's also exposing companies' unequal pay policies — like what happened when 25-year-old Kimberly Nguyen happened upon a posting for her own job at a much, much higher salary.

Nguyen tweeted, "My company just listed on LinkedIn a job posting for what I’m currently doing (so we’re hiring another UX writer) and now thanks to salary transparency laws, I see that they intend to pay this person $32k-$90k more than they currently pay me, so I applied."

First of all, let's talk about that salary range. It spans almost $60,000, and I gotta say, that seems deliberately vague and not actually helpful for setting real pay expectations. In fact, many companies are trying to skirt salary transparency laws by posting jobs with salary ranges that are so wide that they're basically meaningless.

Gregory from Abbott Elementary rolling his eyes
Gregory from Abbott Elementary rolling his eyes

ABC / Via

Meanwhile, job seekers are just trying to figure out if it's even worth the time it takes to retype their résumé into a dumb online form to apply for this job.

The listed pay range is also significantly higher than Nguyen's current salary, which makes it that much more insulting for current employees to see.

Nguyen goes on to share her dissatisfaction with her company's performative "inclusion" efforts and reveals that she has had multiple conversations with her managers about the fact that she is underpaid, with no real resolution.

Later, she added an update saying that her company told her the job she applied for was meant to be an internal posting. "[B]ut that doesn't solve the fact that someone internally is now still going to make $32k+ more???" Nguyen wrote.

And sadly, the conversation around pay equity and salary transparency quickly turned to talk of possible layoffs, "because what better way to get people to take what they're given and shut up than to threaten them with job loss?" Nguyen summed it up.

In the comments, people were simply stunned by Nguyen's employer's shady actions.

And some people shared their tips for squeezing a raise out of them:

Screenshots from the thread have also been shared on Reddit in r/antiwork, where users described the company's actions as "a slap in the face" and a reminder that loyalty isn't really a thing in the modern corporate workplace. One redditor wrote, "Your current employer probably won't pay you that — but another one will."

Another commenter shared, "A year ago I found out my company was offering new hires one rank lower than me $10K more than I was making after eight years there. Today I'm working for one of their customers making $45k more. Fuck em, keep up with market rate or be ready to lose people."

I reached out to Nguyen via email, and she told me exactly what went through her mind when she saw the job posting: "I felt disrespected because I don't make anywhere close to what the listing advertised. But I also felt that since they posted it, I might have more leverage because I didn't make up the number, they did."

Two men passing cash across a table over a laptop
Atit Phetmuangtong / Getty Images/EyeEm

I also asked if the company had responded directly to her application yet. She replied, "LOL, no. I'm actually pretty sure they're going to fire me for this whole debacle." I can understood why the company might do this, but I hope that they don't. While it might put a stop to the current conversation, if they don't find a way to pay current employees on par or closer to what they'd offer new workers, this problem will only continue to drive employees away.

A woman holding a box and walking away from an office building
Suriyapong Thongsawang / Getty Images

Nguyen also shared that she's been really surprised by the response to her tweets. "I was just venting, and I didn't expect there to be such a reaction to my venting. People complain on the internet all the time and it doesn't go viral. I'm honestly really overwhelmed by all the attention."

Finally, I think Nguyen's story resonated with so many of us because it is so common. But just because these kinds of pay practices have long been common doesn't make them okay. And with pay transparency laws now active in several states, employers are going to have to invest time and money into paying people appropriately and equitably — or else they'll soon discover the reason "nobody wants to work anymore."