Discussing salaries has long been considered taboo in many workplaces for several reasons. Some people believe their compensation is private and see questions as intrusive.
But are salary discussions illegal in the workplace? And what should you do if your employer fires you for having these conversations?
What are the pros of discussing your salary with co-workers?
In most workplaces, salary is considered a sensitive topic. As a result, many employees are reluctant to discuss their earnings with their co-workers.
But, there are also some compelling arguments for why they should be more open. For example, salary transparency can help ensure everyone is paid fairly.
Also, salary discussions can help to identify disparities within an organization. If certain groups of employees feel like they are not receiving fair pay, it can signify that a more significant issue is at play.
There are some drawbacks to discussing your salary with your colleagues as it may create envy, dissatisfaction, and resentment. Furthermore, many employers prefer employees not to discuss their wages, and some may even have policies prohibiting such conversations.
However, no federal law prohibits employees from sharing information about their salaries. In fact, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that salary discussions are protected under the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees workers the right to engage in “concerted activity” for their benefit. This means that employees can discuss their salaries with each other without fear of reprisal from their employer. Furthermore, they state that any policies that prohibit the discussion of wages in the workplace are unlawful.
If you are fired for discussing your salary with your co-workers, the first thing you should do is seek legal representation. You may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit if your employer has violated state or federal laws.