Can an employer prohibit employees from discussing their wages?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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. New Link Destination
day, my boss found it, and chewed me out for

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


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

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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