Can an employer forbid you to talk about your paycheck to another employee?

UPDATED: Mar 1, 2012

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Can an employer forbid you to talk about your paycheck to another employee?

My boss says since all of our pays are based on our skills, they are all different and therefore we are forbidden to share how much we make with other employees. I used to teach and I though all the teacher’s Salaries were published, so how can he forbid us?

Asked on March 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer may make it a term or condition of employment that you do not discuss salaries with coworkers--and many employers do. If you violate this requirement, you may be terminated; indeed, if your employer wished to, the employer could characterize it as a termination for cause (violating company policy; insubordination) and seek to deny you unemployment compesation. Employers may make anything not inherently illegal a term or condition of employment, and there is nothing illegal about requiring confidentiality as to financial arrangements or compensation.

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