W-2 Request from Potential Employer

Mon, Sep 30, 2019 10:22 PM

Has anyone gone for a job, and had the potential employer ask for your current W-2? Ive been looking around and have a possible lead, but this would be a career change. I’d like to make more, and am certainly qualified in a very similar field, but what they will probably offer is about $15k less than I’d be willing to switch for. I’ve been told because I don’t have direct experience they may ask for a W-2 to see that I am indeed making a fair salary request.

So my dilemma becomes twofold. 1) I think that’s weird and I simply don’t want to give out that information. 2) I am currently underpaid, hence the career move, and showing the W-2 undercuts myself and the incredible resume I’ve accumulated over the last decade.

  • Mon, Sep 30, 2019 11:07 PM
    posted by Laley23

    Has anyone gone for a job, and had the potential employer ask for your current W-2? Ive been looking around and have a possible lead, but this would be a career change. I’d like to make more, and am certainly qualified in a very similar field, but what they will probably offer is about $15k less than I’d be willing to switch for. I’ve been told because I don’t have direct experience they may ask for a W-2 to see that I am indeed making a fair salary request.

    So my dilemma becomes twofold. 1) I think that’s weird and I simply don’t want to give out that information. 2) I am currently underpaid, hence the career move, and showing the W-2 undercuts myself and the incredible resume I’ve accumulated over the last decade.

    Talk to a lawyer, but I'm not sure that's a legal request.

    Depends on how much you want the job and how much you're willing to play hardball.  Do your research, and then tell them what you believe market is and that's what you're looking for.

    Thing is, if they want to hire you, then you have leverage.  Have your bullet points for a counter-argument.  Know what market is, and the minimum you'll settle for....and then fight for it.

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 2:42 AM

    My wife just went thru the same thing and she told them no (as advised for her attorney mom). It’s not legal and they don’t need to see your W-2.

    My wife still got hired FWIW.

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 10:20 AM

     

    I think that requesting a W-2 is a little much ……..you should have sufficient work history and references that will vouch for your capabilities and character, and from there, the market should dictate appropriate pay ranges.

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 10:30 AM

    I would absolutely not provide a potential employer with a W2. No fuckin' way.

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 10:47 AM
    posted by Laley23

    So my dilemma becomes twofold. 1) I think that’s weird and I simply don’t want to give out that information. 2) I am currently underpaid, hence the career move, and showing the W-2 undercuts myself and the incredible resume I’ve accumulated over the last decade.

    I'm not sure what industry you are in but I have never heard of that. Usually employers hire at a salary level and if you fit what they want then you can negotiate what they are willing to pay. Your past salary or current salary should have no bearing on what you are hired in at. 

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 12:39 PM

    I had a potential employer ask for that. They claimed it was a third party they use that gathered income information to help quantify salaries in an industry, but I declined either way.

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 12:45 PM

    This isn't something you have to do (obviously) but it's not uncommon. Having been an executive recruiter for going on 27 years I see this a lot. It's usually requested for sales roles though.

    Right now, it's a candidates market, with historic low unemployment rates.  I've seen people getting 10-30k raises on their base salary alone.Many of these companies are asking for a W-2 so they aren't getting gouged by someone wanting to capitalize on the "hot market." Your situation is a little different in it sounds like you're underpaid.

    I don't think it's illegal for them to request this.

    Tue, Oct 1, 2019 12:57 PM
    posted by iclfan2

    I'm not sure what industry you are in but I have never heard of that. Usually employers hire at a salary level and if you fit what they want then you can negotiate what they are willing to pay. Your past salary or current salary should have no bearing on what you are hired in at. 

    Tech based. Specifications sports television, but I am remote now since I moved away from headquarters and thus my role can’t expand. So, I’m kind of stuck where I am, which is why I’m looking to move.

    I make good money, with ok benefits. But have more knowledge of patching, IT, Networks, video signals, fiber. Media converters etc than most of the engineers on these shows, and make about 1/3 because...well...they are engineers and I was hired on as a technician 6 years ago. 

    Now looking to stay in the tech field, but get a significant raise as my resume and knowledge dictates I should make that amount. I just know if I have to show W2, they won’t give me market value because I’m under that currently.

    Wed, Oct 2, 2019 1:46 PM

    I have changed jobs 3 times since 2003. As a professional engineer I would never even tell a potential employer how much I currently make, let alone give them my W-2. 

    No chance in the world, I have told the companies each time how much I wanted to be paid, and got what I wanted within a couple thousand dollars each time. Each of the 3 moves I went up 40% in 2008 move, then 20% in 2013 move, and last time 30% in 2018 move. 

    If you tell them what you make now, no way you will get the 20% or more pay increase you are looking for.

    Wed, Oct 2, 2019 1:59 PM
    posted by jmog

    If you tell them what you make now, no way you will get the 20% or more pay increase you are looking for.

    In an economy like this, 20% pay increases should be about the norm, especially if you're way under the average (maybe even more).  But in general, I think you're correct.  Giving up the W2 is implicitly lowballing yourself with an initial offer.

    But I might be making more out of this than it is.  It's just really bad business/hiring to lowball people, because then people are going to leverage you for a better/market offer.  You give the person the title but pay them well below market and they probably won't last a year.

    If they do pull that, well then take the title and salary bump and start looking for a better paying job in 6 months.

    Wed, Oct 2, 2019 2:18 PM
    posted by Laley23

    Has anyone gone for a job, and had the potential employer ask for your current W-2? Ive been looking around and have a possible lead, but this would be a career change. I’d like to make more, and am certainly qualified in a very similar field, but what they will probably offer is about $15k less than I’d be willing to switch for. I’ve been told because I don’t have direct experience they may ask for a W-2 to see that I am indeed making a fair salary request.

    So my dilemma becomes twofold. 1) I think that’s weird and I simply don’t want to give out that information. 2) I am currently underpaid, hence the career move, and showing the W-2 undercuts myself and the incredible resume I’ve accumulated over the last decade.

     

    posted by gut

    Talk to a lawyer, but I'm not sure that's a legal request.

     

    hmmmm....know any? ;)
     

     

    Wed, Oct 2, 2019 2:58 PM
    posted by vball10set

     

    posted by gut

    Talk to a lawyer, but I'm not sure that's a legal request.

     

    hmmmm....know any? ;)

     

    You know, I'll bet if a woman challenged this in the right court, that it would be ruled discriminatory (you know, since it's "well known" women make 78% of what men do, one of several arguments follows this unfairly hurts their ability to negotiate better pay).

    Wed, Oct 2, 2019 4:11 PM
    posted by gut

     

    You know, I'll bet if a woman challenged this in the right court, that it would be ruled discriminatory (you know, since it's "well known" women make 78% of what men do, one of several arguments follows this unfairly hurts their ability to negotiate better pay).

    my reply was tongue in cheek--his dad is an attorney

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