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Don't Ask, Don't Tell Still Salary Policy at Most Jobs

salary discussion . / Credit: Office Gossip Image via Shutterstock

Discussing salary is still an office taboo, new research has found. In fact, a majority of workers from around the world say they are not only uncomfortable discussing their salary, but also talking about vacation, sick time and bonuses with their co-workers.

Overall, 35 percent of workers say that they are never comfortable talking about salary with co-workers.  An additional 20 percent of workers say they are seldom comfortable talking with fellow employees about their pay. Just 18 percent of workers say they are very comfortable talking about salary, while 14 percent say they are often comfortable when discussing salary.

However, those numbers vary greatly depending on where workers are located. Workers in North America were most uncomfortable when discussing what they earn. Overall, 63 percent of workers in the United States and 61 percent of workers in Canada say they are not comfortable talking about salary.

However, workers in Europe were much more comfortable when talking about what they earn.  Forty-nine percent of workers in the U.K. say they are comfortable talking about their salary.  German workers were the most comfortable workers when talking about salary, with 64 percent of workers in Germany saying they are comfortable discussing their pay.   

[How Quitting May Help You Get a Raise]

"Pay transparency is a hot topic, especially among startups. But it's clear that many workers are just as uncomfortable with the notion as their bosses are," said Mary Ellen Slayter, career advice expert for Monster.com. "For most people, the best strategy is to focus on yourself and your own career path and growth, instead of trying to compete with everybody else. Of course, the best time to discuss salary is when you’re negotiating a raise."

The research was based on the responses of 3,000 people on Monster.com.

Email David Mielach or follow him @D_M89. Follow us @bndarticlesFacebook or Google+.

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