Is it ok to discuss your pay with coworkers?

The President's executive order signed this week calls for better transparency around wages, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation at work. It only applies to companies with federal contracts, so the order itself will not impact most American workers, but it is sparking a discussion about what kind of protection workers have when it comes to openly discussing compensation.

CNN cited a recent survey from the Institute of Women's Policy Research, where they found half of all workers reported that talking about wage information is either discouraged or prohibited and could lead to punishment.

Most people, simply don't walk around telling their coworkers how much money they make. Most would say it is just not a polite thing to do, and could potentially lead to disruption in the workplace.

But the National Labor Relations Act already protects employees' rights to discuss their wages without fear of retaliation.

The President's executive order is also directed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women.

While the National Labor Relations Act already offers protection to employees, the President's executive order would expand it and give it more teeth. The NLRA only protects employees if they are talking about pay in the context of protesting unfair wages. The executive order goes beyond that to cover any conversation about pay between two employees, even if they are not planning some kind of protest.


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