I got caught off-gaurd today when a direct asked me during her annual review why a colleague of hers who started after she did was getting paid more. She felt she deserved a higher salary because of her tenure. She claims she found out this information when this colleague's paystub without envelope was inadvertanly placed in her box.
The more I think on it, the more dubious I am about how she found out. But, giving her the benefit of the doubt, how do you answer such a question without breaking confidentiality on behalf of the other staff member?
I eventually stumbled to "Okay, I can understand you're upset by that. Let's go over your review and we can talk about the raise you're receiving."
How can I do this better next time? Should I try to learn if she went out of her way to find out what someone else was making?