Is it legal if an employer is preventing its employees from discussing their variable compensation/bonus?

When it comes to annual bonus time, my employer reiterates that the contents of the bonus statement is confidential and it is a disciplinary matter to discuss it with other

colleagues. Surely this is just an attempt to reduce the flow of information and colleagues comparing each other’s remuneration and therefore reduce competition.

Asked on February 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes this is legal. That is unless this mandate violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, or if it in some way constitutes some form of actionable discrimination. In "at will" employment, a company can set the conditons of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes placing a restriction on the discussion of company bonuses. If an employee cannot comply with this prohibition, they can either quit or disclose their bonus and risk suspension/termination.


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