Economics

Tell Your Coworkers How Much You Get Paid – And Get Fired Illegally.

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Don’t talk to your coworkers about your pay is a common command from most companies and usually this is a good idea. It’s understandable: If you found out that your coworker made more than you for doing the same work, then you’d probably be upset.

But some firms can take this motto to far and will fire you if you do or reduce your hours if do divulge.

But is it legal?

“Under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), all workers have the right to engage “concerted activity for mutual aid or protection” and “organize a union to negotiate with [their] employer concerning [their] wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.” In six states, the law even more explicitly protects the rights of workers to discuss their pay.”

“This is true whether the employers make their threats verbally or on paper and whether the consequences are firing or merely some sort of cold shoulder from management.”

“As NYU law professor Cynthia Estlund explained to NPR, the law “means that you and your co-workers get to talk together about things that matter to you at work.” Even “a nudge from the boss saying ‘we don’t do that around here’ … is also unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act,” Estlund added.”

But this has not kept employers from threatening their employees.

“This is why President Obama recently signed two executive actions addressing workplace transparency and accountability. One prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with one another. The other requires contractors to provide compensation data on their employees, including race and sex. But while these actions protect workers at federally contracted employers, they do not affect others.”

“The bill that would cover the rest of workers is the Paycheck Fairness Act. The law would both strengthen penalties to employers who retaliate against workers for discussing pay and require employers to provide a justification for wage differentials.”

“These reforms are necessary to address this widespread, illegal problem that the law has failed to address for decades. Gag rules violate a fundamental labor right and allow for discriminatory pay schemes.”

Research has shown that pay secrecy can cause the pay gap between men and women, a gap that widens between men and women of color. More than 50 years after the Equal Pay Act, study after study show that women are still paid less than men for the same work.

[SOURCE](http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/when-the-boss-says-dont-tell-your-coworkers-how-much-you-get-paid/374467/)

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“Tell Your Coworkers How Much You Get Paid – And Get Fired Illegally.”