If someone asks you how much you make, you may feel awkward, embarrassed or even attacked. After all, social rules often consider discussing personal money matters to be taboo. Your employer may have even told you never to talk about your salary.
Nevertheless, telling your coworkers how much you make may be in your best interests. That is, there may be serious and immediate consequences for not discussing your wages with your colleagues.
You have a legal right to talk about salary
Your employer may make a profit from paying workers as little as possible. Nevertheless, you should receive fair wages for the work you do. Regardless of what your employer asks of you, you probably have a legal right to talk about how much you earn.
The pay transparency section of New York’s Equal Pay Act typically prohibits employers from implementing policies that prevent workers from discussing salary. The law also likely protects your right to ask your coworkers how much they earn.
You may not be receiving fair wages
If you go to work every day only to feel like you do not have enough money to make ends meet, you may not be receiving fair wages. Employers regularly violate state and federal law by using age, race, gender or other characteristics to pay workers less than they deserve.
If you do not discuss your wages with your coworkers, you may have no idea you are earning less than you should. Ultimately, when you talk about salary, you boost your chances of uncovering your employer’s shady or even illegal approach to compensating workers.