Can an employer prohibit employees from discussing their wages?

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Can an employer prohibit employees from discussing their wages?

I work in a retail store in Utah with five employees. When I was hired, I found out that my employer, the store owner, prohibited the employees from discussing their wages with each other written in the employee handbook. This really bugged me, but I didn’t have the information to retort that, yet. Recently, I found our employee rights, and put a sticky note in the handbook stating the NLRA law. Today, my boss found it, and chewed me out for

Asked on November 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Utah

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, an employer may not prohibit its employees from discussing compensation according to the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). Additionally, a recent executive order protects employees of federal contractors and allows them to discuss wage and compensation. Companies not covered by the NLRA, but who are federal contractors, must follow a similar standard. Exceptions to the foregoing, that is workers who cannot discuss pay, are those whose job functions involve access to company wage and payroll information unless otherwise directed by their employer or an investigating agency. Employers not covered by the NLRA or the federal contractor executive order, include municipal governments and religious schools. Workers in those institutions are subject to their employer's policies.
At this point, you should consult with an employment law attorney and/or your state's department of labor.


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