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Talking about employee compensation

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in Employee Benefits Program,Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. My company has a policy prohibiting all workers from discussing their pay with other employees. Is this legal?

A. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides that employees are engaged in protected concerted activity when they discuss working conditions. Thus, employers are not permitted to prohibit such discussions.

Although the employer may be legitimately concerned about morale and working relationships among workers, it may not prohibit wage and salary discussions. The restriction applies to both union and nonunion employers.

Employers should note, however, that the NLRA protects only the employee’s use of information acquired in the normal work activity and association. Employees are not entitled to obtain confidential wage information from an employer’s private files.

The NLRA applies only to “employees.” “Supervisors” are not protected by the federal labor law and, therefore, may be prohibited from engaging in such discussions.

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