My friend is facing the following problem:
Her boss left the computer open and she then looked at his screen, where the salary of a coworker at her level (who since has left the company) was displayed. As his salary was considerably higher than hers; she was shocked and told a coworker about it, and also to her boss who left the his computer open. In a preemptive strike he reported it to the management but says that she went through his email, essentially accessing his computer without consent.
Now human resources has written her an email, asking her to answer some questions next week. Her answers would then lead to a decision whether disciplinary actions would follow.
The questions are:
- How did you find out about the salary?
- Who did you share the information with?
- Why did you think it is ok to discuss this with the colleagues you discussed it with?
- What you expect to gain from discussing third-party salaries with colleagues
It is hardly illegal to look at somebody's screen. But is there an obligation not to disclose that information to colleagues? She is working for a company in the UK.