Money Etiquette

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

I just gave my two weeks notice at my current job, which has a lot of employees. I have had several random people come up to me to say that they heard I am leaving, and have asked me where I am going. A few have asked me how much more I am making at my new job. My parents always taught me to never discuss your salary with anyone. But I know certain practices in the workplace have changed and evolved. From an etiquette standpoint, is it now acceptable to ask how much people get paid?


Dear K.T.,

First of all, congratulations on the new job. You are correct that it is not acceptable in any circumstance to ask people if they are getting paid more at a new job, let alone how much of a raise they will receive. I have heard adults ask others how much they make at a job. Every child growing up probably asks his mom or dad how much he/she makes. This is when the parent typically tells a child that you never ask how much someone makes. I am always in disbelief when I hear those words come out of the mouth of an adult. No matter how old you are, I think the best response is, “my parents taught me to never discuss my salary.” Then walk off if you can.