Yes, You Can Discuss Your Salary With Your Co-Workers

Your employer, who should be familiar with pay transparency laws, might not like it, but employees are legally protected from repercussions.

Two coworkers talk in the office.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Have you ever thought that it would be nice to know what other employees who have the same job duties as yours are paid? Or to know what a company pays its other employees before you accept a position there?

That’s what recently minted attorney “Stella” thought, but her employer forbade discussing compensation that was in the onboarding handbook that “appeared to have been written many years ago,” she told me. At an office Christmas party, an intoxicated colleague boasted what he was earning — which was far more than Stella was, and he was also a new lawyer doing the same things. Another employee overheard them talking about this and told a senior partner, who put Stella on administrative leave.

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H. Dennis Beaver, Esq.
Attorney at Law, Author of "You and the Law"

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California's Kern County District Attorney's Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, "You and the Law." Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. "I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift."