Can Your Employer Bar You From Talking About Your Pay?

It’s natural to be curious about what your coworkers earn or to be proud about the raise you just got. However, some employers may try to keep you from talking about your pay with your colleagues. Why? Because it’s the simplest way for you to find out that about unfair or even illegal pay practices.

In fact, too many California employers try to bar their workers from talking about their salaries at all. These businesses are often trying to hide that they pay some workers significantly more than others because of favoritism or bias. If employees talk to each other about wages, they may find out that they’re suffering from a discriminatory wage gap despite doing the same tasks as their coworkers.

This leads many people to question whether it’s even legal to ban workplace discussion of compensation. To make a long story short, no, it’s not legal. Salary discussions are protected under state law. They are considered a fundamental part of workers’ rights to organize. Preventing employees from talking about their respective wages is illegal since it reduces pay transparency and prevents people from understanding whether they’re being paid fairly.

Employers may try to prevent these discussions in several ways, such as:

These actions are actively illegal and violate your rights under California law.

How to Protect Your Right to Discuss Your Pay

If your employer is trying to pressure you into staying quiet, they’re breaking the law. It’s also a sign that your company may have something to hide regarding pay equity. Here’s what you can do in response to their threats:

Stand Up to Abusive Employers

California employment laws guarantee you the right to discuss your wages and benefits with your coworkers. That’s why you should take action right away if your employer is trying to prevent you from doing so. You can stand up to your threatening or abusive employer when they infringe on your legal rights like this.

To get started, get in touch with the experts at AM&F LLP today. Our expert employment attorneys will help you understand and exercise your rights and fight back against any unlawful actions your employer has taken against you. Schedule your consultation today to learn more.