A coworker — and friend — of mine asked me about an open position within the company last month. We had an in depth conversation about the job, he asked all the questions I’d expect in a formal inquiry or interview. I answered as truthfully and professionally as possible. When it came to money, I told him the truth: if you’re good at [the new job], you can make some good money.

He mulled it over, but ultimately decided not to take it because he was worried about the effects of him leaving his department would cause (admittedly, it would certainly cause some strife there).

Weeks later, some of us go out for beers — us, and another guy in our department. He again inquires about the job. He’s really interested but clearly feels indecisive, or I think tethered. I told him he should reconsider. A week ago, he tells me that he was going to go for it and he appreciated our help.

Fast-forward to today. The coworker had approached his current manager and says he wants to pursue the new position. The manager asks why he changed his mind...

And then?

His manger filed an HR complaint against me for discussing wages with a coworker, and that we were trying to “poach” him. He also told my boss that we were “pressuring him” to apply for the job. I told my boss I never discussed wages, not a dollar nor a cent, and told him with no hesitation: “I told him the truth: if he works hard and gets good, he can make good money. There’s nothing wrong with what I said.”

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I also think that suppressing wage information might be illegal? Even if it weren’t, there’s still nothing wrong with what I said and they can’t tell me what to say or who to talk to outside of work. That aside, totally effed.