Am I Allowed To Discuss My Salary With My Co-Workers?
Under federal law, the vast majority of employees have a protected right to discuss their salaries with co-workers. Specifically, under the National Labor Relations Act, employees are permitted to engage in such discussions regardless of whether they are a part of a union or not. See Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act; NLRB v. Brookshire Grocery Co., 919 F.2d 359 (5th Circuit, 1990); President Obama’s April 8, 2014 Executive Order re Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information.
There may be restrictions on when you engage in such discussions, such as while on the clock or if you previously agreed to not engage in such discussions as a part of severance agreement, but as a general matter, employees have a federally-protected right to engage in these discussions with others. But what do you do if your employer discourages these discussions or tries to reprimand you for engaging in them? In that case, you should contact an employment attorney as you likely have a claim against your employer for violating the National Labor Relations Act. Not only are discussions regarding pay transparency good public policy as they promote fairness and equity, but they also are federally-protected rights for most employees.