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Aug29

Sharing Salary Information Amongst Employees and the NLRA

Our company has concerns that some of our employees will discuss their salaries with others. We are not sure whether or not we can create a policy that prohibits our employers from talking about their salaries. Would that be in violation of the NLRA?

Yes. Employees are allowed to share their own salary information with other employees, according to the NLRA. The NLRA is an acronym that stands for the National Labor Relations Act, which helps to ensure that employees can form labor organization for the purpose of bargaining with an employer for things such as higher wages, better working conditions and the reduction of hours.

Your employees may share their own salary information, but they may not share salary information of other employees if your company has a confidentiality policy in place that prohibits that confidentiality violation. If you would like to limit your liability as far as employee compensation is concerned, you can enact the following policies and steps:

While you cannot create a blanket policy that prohibits your employees from discussing their salaries, you are allowed to create a policy that prohibits your employees from discussing the salaries of other employees (this would be a confidentiality policy, as mentioned above).

Make sure that during leadership trainings, your managers and leadership teams know that it is illegal for them to tell their employees not to discuss their salaries with other employees. Even if your managers tell the employees (as opposed to writing it), the company is still held responsible for the illegal action.

If an employee that participates in a labor organization or that discusses his or her salary is terminated, it is especially critical that you document all of the reasons that the employee was terminated just in case the employee retaliates against the company and takes the termination to court. You will need to prove that you did not terminate the employee as a result of involvement in activities that are protected by the NLRA.

As a general statement, you can educate your employees about why they might not want to share information about their salaries. However, the decision is completely up to them and should not be regulated by the company for any reason.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2007 at 8:38 pm and is filed under
Benefits, Compensation, Employment Training, Human Resources Management, Labor Laws.
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2 Responses to “Sharing Salary Information Amongst Employees and the NLRA”

  1. Leis Docken Says:

    We have a person who has shared another employees salary information. Do we have grounds for dismissal based on this action? It states in our employee handbook that discussion of compensation information is grounds for disciplinary action and or dismissal.

  2. Caitlin Says:

    Leis,

    Your concern is absolutely appropriate — and you probably do have grounds to dismiss this employee.

    Under NLRA, employees are allowed to share THIER OWN salary information with others. However, an emplloyee who is sharing another employee’s salary information is not covered under NLRA. Especially if the employee is in a position of trust, such as a bookkeeper or supervisor, it’s inappropriate for them to share confidential company information regarding salary.

    You would be justified in dismissing the employee under these circumstances.

    Example: Jon can tell Bobby how much Jon is making. However, if Jon is Betsy’s supervisor, he cannot tell Bobby how much Betsy is making.

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