Does She Have the Right?

A woman seeks advice about whether or not her principal has the right to ask her how much she makes.

Your Career Coach

Principal Rights?

Dear Michele,

I am a contractor at a school district. My question is: Do you think my principal has any right to ask me how much I make? I think she cannot but my colleague thinks it is okay because I am not part of the union nor does she control my salary. Who is right? I felt it was harassment and am uneasy around her now.

— School Daze

Dear Daze,

Take a good look at your contract. Who’s your key point of contact? Who’s your contract manager? If this person is your principal then she can ask you about your salary. Take a good look, too, at why you feel harassed when she asked. What’s up with that? How would you feel if the reason the principal asked about your pay was because she thinks you deserve to be extremely well-paid and wanted to suggest a raise? Sometimes an uneasy reaction is really a trigger of our own emotions and our own “stuff”. Look hard at that, and you may find that you no longer feel uneasy around the principal, or about appropriately discussing money.

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