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Can my employer keep me from discussing salary at work?

Many employers have surprisingly inaccurate ideas about what they can and cannot require of their employees, often placing guidelines into their employee handbooks or company policies that run contrary to the actual law of the land. In many, many instances, these violations of the law and of employees rights go unchecked because employees just assume that the employer knows what they're doing.

Realistically, this is a huge assumption. There's no guarantee that any person in a position of authority is there because they fully understand all the laws that govern the workplace. In some cases, these types of conflicts or violations go unchallenged for months or even years, creating a toxic workplace.

One of the most commonly misunderstood issues is whether employees have the right to discuss the terms of their employment with other employees, like discussing salary. The law may provide some very specific restrictions on discussing salary, such as discouraging discussing salary outside of the workplace if it figures into a confidentiality agreement. However, the law does not generally allow a company to completely bar its employees from discussing salary amongst each other. If your employer claims it can do this, you should get a professional to review the terms of the employee guidelines in question.

If you believe that your employer is making unfair requests in its behavior policies, an experienced attorney who understands how to stand up for justice in the workplace can defend your rights. Pursuing legal action to protect yourself not only keeps your rights secure in the workplace, while also providing a better, stronger work environment for those who do not have the ability to speak up for themselves.

Source: Findlaw, "Legal to Prohibit Employees From Discussing Salary?," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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