(8 Polite Answers) When Coworker Asks About Your Salary

  • February 10, 2024

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Ketan

Thanks to company regulations that prevent a salary discussion with colleagues.  

However, an overly curious coworker asks about your salary anyway. 

There might be no clear reason why they want to know how much you make from this company.

But they inquire about your salary. While, you wish you could avoid it somehow. 

Maybe you’re uncomfortable sharing your salary or find it inappropriate. 

Whatever it is, if you don’t want to talk about it, here we’re sharing how to respond to salary questions from your coworkers or teammates. 


How To Respond When Your Coworker Asks Your Salary?

A salary is a matter between that employee and the company only. 

No third person needs to know about it and they have to keep it the same way. 

But some coworkers don’t care, but they just have to know about your salary. 

How To Respond When Your Coworker Asks Your Salary

Not sure, if they ask so to compare their salary with yours or if they just want to know. 

Whether you earn as per your capabilities or your role, it certainly feels uncomfortable to talk about your salary with anyone at work.

But you better know how to avoid salary discussions with your peers.

When you don’t know what to say to this coworker who wants to know about your salary, use one of these replies to not talk about it. 

1. “I think we shouldn’t talk about it.” 

It’s already in your company policy that ‘Salary discussion is strictly prohibited’.

Remind your coworkers about this rule. 

Or you can send a copy of it with a quote mark. 

2. “Can we discuss it later? I’m busy with something.”

You just want to avoid this discussion for now. 

Because you know this coworker won’t understand better. 

If they understand it well, that’s good. 

If not, you can still use this no-time excuse to prevent salary discussion. 

3. “We earn the same. After all, we are in the same position.”

You sense that this coworker asks about your salary just for comparison purposes. 

It’s not good for them or also for you that you don’t discuss it. 

4. “I could tell you my salary but I have to ask yours, too. Can you share it back?” 

Sometimes, you also want to know their salary, so you can use it as a try.

But if you don’t want to talk about your salary, this is a smart reply to stop your colleague from asking you again. 

When coworker asks about your salary

5. “Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable sharing it. Because it’s not as much as yours.”

A coworker sometimes asks about your salary for some reason. 

So you just cleverly tell them that you’re earning less than them. 

It’s just to make them happy. 

But it’s not true, you know that. 

6. “I’m not getting any salary; I’m doing charity here.” 

Your over-friendly coworkers ask personal questions in office quite often. 

But this time they ask about your salary. 

So, to avoid any discussion here, you can share this funny response. 

7. “Don’t worry, It’s just average, nothing special to discuss.” 

There are many important and interesting things to discuss with your co-workers in your free time. 

Indeed, other than salary. 

You tell them that you both are making the same. 

It’s the average as per the standard pay, nothing new. 

8. “Why don’t you ask our boss? Look, here he comes.” 

The policy says you can’t disclose your salary to your coworker. 

But your boss could talk about it.  

So, if they’re interested to know about that you tell them to ask straight to the boss. 

READ NEXT: Positive Responses To Boss’s Negative Feedback


When Coworker Knows Your Salary

Generally, sharing your salary with coworkers or anyone at work isn’t advisable.  

But somehow, if they find out, you have to be ready for the consequences.

Let’s say… if your coworkers know about your salary which is higher than theirs. 

When coworker Knows About Your Salary

What happens next is that they might approach your employer or boss to get an equal or higher salary compared to you. 

That could be trouble for your image at the company. 

In other cases, if your salary is less than theirs, they now have something to make fun of you or to take pride around you. 

They could also make you feel bad about your lower earnings despite your experience. 

You might be satisfied with your salary, but this discussion could discourage you. 

When you feel hesitation but your coworker insists and asks about your salary, you can politely tell them that this discussion isn’t worth anyone’s time. 


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