A woman in New York recently claimed on social media that she applied for a job listing for her current position after her company posted the same position at a significantly higher salary.
Kimberly Nguyen, a 25-year-old user experience (UX) writer, shared in her now-viral series of tweets that she stumbled upon the job posting on LinkedIn, which advertised a salary range that was “$32k-$90k more than they currently pay me.” Nguyen said on Tuesday that she discovered the discrepancy due to a salary transparency law recently enacted in New York, which requires companies to include a pay range in their job postings. While the law was intended to promote pay equity, it has also exposed unequal pay policies, as in Nguyen’s case.
“My company just listed on LinkedIn a job posting for what I’m currently doing (so we’re hiring another UX writer) and now thanks to salary transparency laws, I see that they intend to pay this person $32k-$90k more than they currently pay me, so I applied,” she tweeted.
Nguyen, a Vietnamese American poet and essayist who published her first poetry book in October last year, tweeted that she responded to the posting by applying for her own job.
In her tweets, Nguyen expressed frustration with her current employer’s performative “inclusion” efforts and a lack of resolution regarding her own underpayment.
“I have also been arguing for months about the pay inequity. I have told my managers multiple times that I know I’m being underpaid. I have gotten the runaround, and they know they can do this right now in a tough labor market,” she wrote.
“I’ve got some audacity too so I posted the link in the group chat of all of us underpaid UX writers and now we’ve got an emergency meeting tomorrow to talk about it,” she continued.
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The company then allegedly held an emergency meeting where she was told that the job listing was meant to be an internal posting.
“They’re saying it was an internal posting and wasn’t meant for anyone to apply to externally because public companies legally have to post jobs even if it’s an internal conversion…but that doesn’t solve the fact that someone internally is now still going to make $32k+ more???” she said.
However, instead of the company’s writers getting a raise, discussions on potential layoffs purportedly emerged, leading Nguyen to announce that she is now “looking for UX writing roles preferably remote.”
Nguyen’s initial tweet has received over 12.3 million views and 221,000 likes. Several Twitter users empathized with her and wrote about their own similar experiences by replying to her Twitter thread.
“I wish I’d thought of this. I inherited a line-managee in a re-org and learned they were paid substantially more than me,” one user wrote. “I was told they couldn’t adjust mid-year but they promised to sort it at bonus time. They did not fix it at bonus time.”
“Well done. More than 30 years ago I went through a similar situation as a female copy editor,” another user shared. “Lowest paid, highest performing on the news desk and the only female. Turned it into an almost successful union drive. Disgusting that companies keep pulling this crap.”
People have since been sending Nguyen job leads and supporting her other endeavors, such as her book “Here I Am Burn Me,” which became No. 1 in Asian American poetry on Amazon.
“Y’all have been selling me out everywhere: AWP, Amazon, my own website. I am so grateful to all of you supporting me through a really overwhelming time. I hope you love my poems as much as I loved writing them,” she tweeted to her supporters.
In an interview with Buzzfeed
after her tweets went viral, Nguyen said she did not expect the attention they garnered.
“I was just venting, and I didn’t expect there to be such a reaction to my venting. People complain on the internet all the time and it doesn’t go viral. I’m honestly really overwhelmed by all the attention.”