Is it legal for an employer to prevent employees from discussing rate of pay and pay increases?

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Is it legal for an employer to prevent employees from discussing rate of pay and pay increases?

The employer is telling employees not to
tell anyone about a pay increase being
given to some of the employees at one of
its sites.

Asked on May 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

As a general rule, absent an employment or union agreement to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as they see fit. This can possibly include prohibiting worker's from discussing their pay with fellow employees. That having been said, companies covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) cannot limit employees’ concerted activities for the purpose of “collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection". While this phrase concerted activities may seem unclear, the NLRB has interpretated it on the side of employees’ rights to discuss salary and wages. To be certain of your rights, you can consult directly with an employment law attorney or contact your state's department of labor for further advice.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

As a general rule, absent an employment or union agreement to the contrary, a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as they see fit. This can possibly include prohibiting worker's from discussing their pay with fellow employees. That having been said, companies covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) cannot limit employees’ concerted activities for the purpose of “collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection". While this phrase concerted activities may seem unclear, the NLRB has interpretated it on the side of employees’ rights to discuss salary and wages. To be certain of your rights, you can consult directly with an employment law attorney or contact your state's department of labor for further advice.


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