Why is it so wrong to talk about pay at work? I never understood it…how am I supposed to know I’m making what I should be making in my field?

likehelpfulsmart
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I think it’s a way of dealing with pay inequity. Management doesn’t want people to know what co workers make because some aren’t making the same. The secrecy only protects the employer. I’m 57 and my father always told me never share your salary it’s not appropriate. It’s antiquated.

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This whole ideology was created by employers so that they don't have to dish out bonuses or match income for people with the same title and also to play the favoritism card.

Not discussing wages only benefits the business, it has no benefit to the employees and wage transparency would benefit others and create incentives to work harder.

'Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act), employees have the right to communicate with other employees at their workplace about their wages. Wages are a vital term and condition of employment, and discussions of wages are often preliminary to organizing or other actions for mutual aid or protection. It is unlawful for your employer to punish or retaliate against you in any way for having that conversation. Additionally, it is unlawful for the employer to have a work rule, policy, or hiring agreement that prohibits employees from discussing their wages with each other or that requires you to get the employer’s permission to have such discussions. If your employer does any of these things, a charge may be filed against the employer with the NLRB." Nlrb.gov.

likesmarthelpful

It's not against the law to talk about your pay though. Ask questions so you're paid fairly! You should not be doing the same work as others for less.

likesmart

You hit the nail on the head. It was designed so that you didn't know what you were supposed to be making and were more likely to just take what you were given. It's not against the law, and employers who try to intimidate you into not talking about it should be reported.

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Yea, this mindset was definitely created by employers in order to maintain their pay inequities. Just something that has been passed down that we are hopefully breaking through

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One of the reasons I left a major hospital system. I was making $15/hour and couldn’t figure out which positions paid better for advancement. It was like a big secret. Coming from the military where people literally wear their pay (rank) on their chest it didn’t make sense to me.

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I'm glad I started asking my coworkers questions! I found out that I was making almost $2 an hour less than people hired after me with the same qualifications! When I approached my HR and management, nobody could tell me why! They adjusted my pay but told me "in the future I shouldn't talk about what I'm making" 🙄

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It is illegal for them to ask you to not discuss pay with other employees.

Refer your employer to the:

National Labor Regulations Act 23 U.S.C. 151-169

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I hate it. Why are we gatekeeping salaries? Its something we SHOULD be talking about.

likehelpful

Who is saying that it's wrong to talk about your pay?

likesmarthelpful

It is illegal for them to prevent you from talking about your pay/bonuses. That is legally protected speech, and you have full rights to tell whoever you want.

likehelpful

How would one approach HR about this? Any tips would be appreciated.

You don't approach HR with this, the horrible and sad truth is, HR is not there to protect employees, HR is there to protect the company's best interest.

You can go ahead and talk about pay with your fellow employees, there should be transparency amongst all employee groups and it should be no secret for you to share pay ranges and years of experience to collectively understand why some individuals are getting paid more or less than others. (This can be incredibly difficult to do though since a lot of individuals are indoctrinated to not discuss this information amongst their co-worker, etc.).

If the company or HR gives a written warning that this discussion of pay needs to cease and desist. You should save that document. And anonymously send it to the NLRB.

Now that they have proof that your employer has gone against a federal law, they will do a thorough investigation of the company. (They do this to find companies that are breaking federal laws but also because PPP loan fraud).

PPP loans were supposed to be given to small businesses to keep staff employed. If your employer was not using a majority of these funds for employee paychecks, and were using these funds for other things they will have to pay the entirety of the loan back to the federal government.

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I tried to talk to a coworker about salaries today, and I just knew I was making her uncomfortable, which also sucks, those were not my intentions…

I would ask the employees You are friends with or friendly with at work…

It's not wrong, it is just an antiquated thing we were taught to believe. But I think it is just the employer's way to hide that everyone gets paid differently even in the same role. That's why a lot of us don't even have an idea how much money we're really worth (when asked about salary expectations or during a salary negotiation) because everyone refuses to talk about what they get paid.

I tell everyone about my pay and benefits if they ask because it’s a public record for us state employees.

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