We Protect Workers

Can you be fired for talking about wages?

A new employee was just hired at your workplace, and they essentially do the same job as you. You’ve been there for five years with minimal raises, so you’re interested in finding out what this this new colleague is being paid.

You ask your boss, but they tell you that you’re not allowed to talk about wages on the job. It seems to you like they’re just avoiding the issue, which makes it feel like the new hire is probably earning significantly more than you. As a result, you go to them directly and ask, and they tell you how much they’re earning.

However, this all gets back to your boss, and they fire you for violating their policy. Can they do this?

You can talk about your wages

This could be an example of a wrongful termination. They’re retaliating against you for violating a company policy, but the company policy may be in violation of federal law. Employees generally have a right to talk about their wages with other employees on the job. The company cannot create a policy that infringes on this right, so they cannot fire you for violating that policy.

If you are an at-will employee, they may not have even given you a reason for the firing. However, it may still be clear to you that you acted against what your boss instructed you, and that is why your position was terminated.

If you feel like your rights have been violated by your employer, then it’s time to consider all of the legal options you have to protect your rights.