We have the right to discuss our pay with our coworkers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act). We may discuss our salary in person or by written communication. Employers, on the other hand, are frequently dissatisfied with this arrangement. There are still numerous businesses that will go so far as to stifle any pay debate among their employees. This is what occurred to one of a busy clinic’s employees. Read the story to know how this employee dealt with a situation who was pulled in by her manager to speak to the HR. Read the entire story which demonstrates how understanding your rights and not taking things for granted is something we should all do more frequently.
In the middle of a busy clinic at our practice, I got pulled in by my manager to speak to HR, who must have made a SPECIAL TRIP because she lives several states away, and told I was being ‘investigated’ for discussing wages with my other employees. She told me it was against company policy to discuss wages.
Me: That’s illegal.
Them: three slow, long seconds of staring at me blankly Uh…
Me: That’s an illegal policy to have. The right to discuss wages is a right protected by the National Labor Relations Board. I used to be in a union. I know this.
HR: Oh, this is news to me! I have been working HR for 18 years and I never knew that. Haha. Well try not to do it anyway, it makes people upset, haha.
Me: People are entitled to their opinions about what their work is worth. Bye.
I then left, and sent her several texts and emails saying I would like a copy of their company policy to see where this wage discussion policy was kept. She quickly called me back into the office.
HR: You know what, there is no policy like that in the handbook! I double checked. Sorry about the confusion, my apologies.
Me: You still haven’t given me the paper saying that we had this discussion. I am going to need some protection against retaliation.
HR: Oh haha yes here you go.
I just received a paper with legal letterhead and an apology saying there was no verbal warning or write up. Don’t ever take their sh*t you guys. Keep talking about wages. Know your worth.