I read on EricaJoy's salary transparency experiment at Google:

It's illegal to retaliate against employees for sharing salaries.

Is that so, in the United States?

3 Answers 3


Certain kinds of pay secrecy measures are illegal under the National Labor Relations Act, a 1935 law. It's not the strongest prohibition, however, because the consequences of violating it are rather weak (especially compared to other employment claims). Some government entities or contractors are under more stringent rules by executive order, and states may have their own laws. Here's a Department of Labor fact sheet.

Here's a 2014 NPR story on the subject.


It's a fundamental component of the 1935 Labor Relations Act that employees may gather independently to discuss their workplace and their relationship with their employer.

Union organizing is patently protected, and so is everything leading up to union organizing, because for instance if you prevented employees from gathering outside work in the first place, the conversations would never occur that would lead up to union organizing.

Compensation is certainly a relevant topic on the pathway to union organizing, so it must be protected.


For a different jurisdiction, Australia, salary confidentially clauses are binding ... on the employer only; employees can take out full page adds in the paper if they want.

  • 6
    Do you have a citation for this statement?
    – March Ho
    Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 12:18

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