Asking about, discussing, or disclosing pay

You have the right to organize with others to improve wages and working conditions.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the right of most private sector employees to talk with each other about workplace issues of mutual concern, such as pay.

Additionally, if you work for a federal contractor or subcontractor, your employer must not discriminate against you because you have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed your compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.

You have the right to complain about discrimination, file a complaint of discrimination, participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or oppose discrimination without being retaliated against.

Workers have the right to discuss their wages–whether or not they're represented by a union
It is unlawful for an employer to have a work rule, poiicy, or hiring agreement that prohibits employees from discussing their wages with each other.

We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your rights as a worker. Many questions about your rights may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

For assistance, please contact the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP):

1-800-397-6251 (TTY 1-877-889-5627)

Examples of discrimination

In general, this means that you cannot be:

  • fired,
  • rejected for a job or promotion,
  • given lesser assignments,
  • forced to take leave, or
  • otherwise disciplined

if you discuss, disclose, or ask questions about compensation.

You have the same rights as all covered employees under the National Labor Relations Act regardless of your immigration status, although immigration status may limit some of the remedies that you may seek.

Additional resources

Need more information?
The elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors are a set of online tools developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to help employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities under Federal employment laws.