It’s tempting for employers to put rules in the company handbook informing employees that they are prohibited from discussing wages and benefits with coworkers. Such policies often warn employees that violators will be subject to discipline up to and including termination. But prohibiting employees from discussing wages and pay is an illegal practice.
The California Fair Pay Act allows employees to disclose, discuss and inquire about their own and other employees’ wages, and to aid other employees in exercising their rights under the CFPA. There is a private right of action for retaliation or discharge in violation of the CFPA, with available relief including reinstatement, reimbursement for lost wages and benefits, and injunctive relief. Pay conversations are also protected under the National Labor Relations Act. NOTE: as in most areas of discrimination, retaliation is severely penalized.
Would you like more information about the California Fair Pay Act? Contact San Diego based Human Resources Consultant, Cathy Bucher to schedule a call. We are happy to help you navigate the waters of California Employment Law!