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    Employees Reprimanded for Discussing Pay Spark Conversation on Wage Rights

    In all the jobs I’ve had before, discussing wages and salaries felt strictly off-limits and entirely taboo.
    If you’re in the United States, the answer is YES. Yes, you can share and discuss your wages with your colleagues. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), “Employees have the right to communicate with other employees at their workplace about their wages.” And, in 2014, President Obama signed an executive order that applied the same law to contractors and federal employees.
    The right to discuss wages for employees in the US
    So, when redditor u/WillingPiglet shared their experience on the r/antiwork subreddit about being reprimanded for discussing their pay at work and being told that it was against company rules, it sparked outrage among the community. This incident not only raised concerns about the legality of such rules but also ignited a conversation about employees’ rights and transparency in the workplace. In this article, we will delve deeper into this issue and explore the implications it has on workers’ rights and workplace culture.
    So, u/WillingPiglet (or Willing Piglet) says they’re the senior-most host at a national US restaurant chain and make 14.65/hour. But when having a conversation with two other hosts, Willing Piglet found out that they both make15/hour. Piglet said, “I was kind of like hold the phone because they were hired after me, and this is all three of our first hosting position. I immediately wrote on a sticky note that I wanted to have a conversation with the GM when she was in next.”
    Close up of female hand writing suggestion on sticky note on glass wall
    So, a few days later, we have a conversation and she informs me that she will increase my salary to ensure fairness. However, she mentions that discussing pay at work is prohibited, as stated in the employee handbook. While she assures me that no one will be terminated, she emphasizes the importance of keeping salary discussions confidential between us.
    Employee handbook binder
    As stylish as chic and as fashion-forward as it gets, countless individuals, including myself, are eager to uncover the whereabouts of this much-discussed employee handbook. The question resonates across the board: WHERE can we find it? The masses, just like me, insist that if this pertinent information is indeed documented in a handbook, it is high time Willing Piglet retrieves it and promptly forwards it to the esteemed National Labor Relations Board.
    Commenters asking the original poster to ask their work to show them the employee handbook
    And many are pointing out that this could have serious legal ramifications for the national chain, especially if this is in the handbook or is documented by the employee:
    Whether legal action can be taken or not, other commenters are strongly encouraging Willing Piglet to get the incident documented regardless:
    Willing Piglet, with their chic and fashion-forward style, came back with an exciting update. They had reached out to HR and received assurance that a conversation would take place with the GM regarding company policies and the handbook. Interestingly, the handbook did not explicitly state that employees cannot discuss wages. Additionally, HR reassured Willing Piglet that they should not be afraid of any form of retaliation and encouraged them to reach out if any issues arise.
    Still, commenters were quick to call out that Willing Piglet should be wary of HR, too, because after all, they’re representing the company..
    Personally, I hope Willing Piglet can find a new job soon, preferably somewhere that follows the law and actually knows their employee handbook. But we can all take away this important reminder: US employers legally cannot prohibit or retaliate against employees for discussing wages!
    What would you do in this situation? Did you know that you’re actually allowed, and encouraged by the government, to discuss pay? Let me know in the comments below!

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