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discussion of pay forbidden

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  • discussion of pay forbidden

    "I think the offer we have for you is in line with our past communications.
    It's important that I note that information concerning pay must be kept confidential and if shared with others can be grounds for dismissal. "

    Is this common?
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  • #2
    In what situation?

    I think it is a factor in some corporate jobs especially where individuals doing the same job negotiate different pay packages.

    It seems excessive for a barn job. You need to think if you are getting paid more than average or less than average, and what it says about the employer.



    Comment


    • #3
      Yes. But unless you sign a non-disclosure agreement, they can't penalize you. Then again, I'm no lawyer.

      But if they're giving you an employment offer, they need to put all the details in writing. Knife cuts both ways. Can't tell you how many times I've been to interviews where an offer was put on the table for me, I tell them it's unacceptable, they ask me to return 'to discuss details' and then I'm given an employment agreement to sign with the laughable original offer still in place. 'And, oh this is your desk and you're starting right now..."

      The appropriate response in these situations is to laugh heartily as you head out the door.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ah no, does not appear kosher.

        https://www.npr.org/2014/04/13/30198...-misunderstood

        Many other articles if you do the google. This has been a hot topic lately.

        Did you ever engage an employment law attorney? They would be your definitive source.

        Comment


        • #5
          I mean, this is classic anti-union stuff for corporations. Seems out of hand for working at a stable, unless it's a very large facility with a lot of employees.

          Comment


          • #6
            Most companies try to do this. Even Google. https://www.inc.com/suzanne-lucas/th...ey-aren-t.html

            It's probably technically illegal for them to retaliate if you discuss your salary with other employees. But to find out for sure, you'd have to challenge your firing. And paying lawyers is expensive.

            So... most of us just negotiate the best we can, use Glassdoor and other informal discussion groups to compare notes, and keep quiet.

            --
            Wendy
            ... and Patrick

            Comment


            • #7
              That was always the rule at the business my family ran for 50 years. It's a morale killer to allow employees to discuss what they make. Everyone tends to over value his/her contribution.
              It may be illegal in your state to prohibit this kind of communication but I wouldn't know. I'm in a right-to-work state, which kind of means the opposite of what you'd think.
              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

              Comment


              • #8
                Chiming in to add a different perspective. While I wouldn't ask our employees to sign a document requiring them to keep their pay details confidential, nor would I threaten them with dismissal, it is awkward when employees start sharing their pay details with co-workers. If a barn hires an inexperienced groom for $XYZ and they hire a more experienced groom for $ABC, the inexperienced groom feels slighted they aren't making more. If the inexperienced groom improves and gets a pay bump and shares this fact with his co-workers, all the other grooms want to know why they didn't get a pay bump. It is a management nightmare.

                Same goes for hiring a trainer or a barn manager. If grooms learn the BM or trainer gets more paid time off, or paid housing they may complain and ask for the same amenities. There is a reason why a lot of jobs don't have pay figures attached to them in the initial advert.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
                  Ah no, does not appear kosher.

                  https://www.npr.org/2014/04/13/30198...-misunderstood

                  Many other articles if you do the google. This has been a hot topic lately.

                  Did you ever engage an employment law attorney? They would be your definitive source.
                  The linked article talks about Obama's executive order which applies to federal contractors and federal employees. While there are laws against terminating an employee for discussing salaries, I've had several jobs where it was stated in the employee manual that salary discussions were forbidden. The thing is most of the time these salary discussions among employees only give one picture of the salary a person is getting and leads to lower employee morale. It's one thing to discuss if you think you have a bona fide issue quite another to be just randomly discussing everyone's salary. most companies have salary ranges in which new staff put within that range depending on their education, skills and experience.

                  So if we're talking about a barn job -you have 2 people both with 4 years experience. #A comes in growing up in pony club getting a national rating, worked for a BNT as a groom/rider and assistant manager for 3 years and now in vet tech school #B grew up riding horses, showed on the local level, worked at for 1 local trainer for 2 years and an assistant manager at a lesson barn. Are both these people entitled to the same salary? Maybe yes and maybe no, depending on the needs of the barn.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That has been the case everywhere I have worked. In a barn setting, it might not just be between employees, but also that they don't want employees discussing their wage with clients. I don't see why this is a problem, unless you think you are being faced with discrimination, but there are better avenues to research if you are being paid fairly.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's usually required in the corporate world I work in, but frankly, I wouldn't discuss my salary with anyone, anyway. It's nobody's damn business how much I do/don't make.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Prohibiting discussion of the subject by rule seems like one way of keeping discrimination, such as entry level men being paid more than women, under wraps.
                        I do understand that employees comparing compensation is a pain from a management standpoint, however that's life.

                        I have had to have the "I'm sorry but I won't discuss other people's wages with you, just as I won't discuss yours with them" conversation in the past. It's not fun and it takes effort to soothe genuinely hurt feelings. I was not defending a situation where there was any discrimination involved, however.

                        In my experience, most adults know that it is a subject that is best left alone.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gottagrey View Post

                          The linked article talks about Obama's executive order which applies to federal contractors and federal employees. While there are laws against terminating an employee for discussing salaries, I've had several jobs where it was stated in the employee manual that salary discussions were forbidden. The thing is most of the time these salary discussions among employees only give one picture of the salary a person is getting and leads to lower employee morale. It's one thing to discuss if you think you have a bona fide issue quite another to be just randomly discussing everyone's salary. most companies have salary ranges in which new staff put within that range depending on their education, skills and experience.

                          So if we're talking about a barn job -you have 2 people both with 4 years experience. #A comes in growing up in pony club getting a national rating, worked for a BNT as a groom/rider and assistant manager for 3 years and now in vet tech school #B grew up riding horses, showed on the local level, worked at for 1 local trainer for 2 years and an assistant manager at a lesson barn. Are both these people entitled to the same salary? Maybe yes and maybe no, depending on the needs of the barn.
                          Hokey doke, lets try another article then:

                          https://smallbusiness.chron.com/conf...ies-12554.html

                          google as I might, I still can't find an article that says you can legally prohibit people from discussing their pay. There may be a strong company culture against it, and it might be in the company handbook, but it is not illegal.

                          Again, a discussion with an attorney specializing in labor law would be definitive.

                          ETA:

                          https://www.insperity.com/blog/when-...discuss-wages/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am in the corporate world and even it it is not something they will fire you about discussing your salary is certainly frowned on. You can discuss pay grade but they tend to be tied to your title and about there is a fairly wide salary band.
                            When I applied for this job HR asked what my salary was. I ignored it on the form. When she asked directly I told her there are 3 people that know my salary: my husband, my current employer and the IRS.

                            I don't want to know what other people make. At a previous small employer I had a co-worker that had no experience in the niche market of the industry I work in. Therefore I trained him, I doled out the work, I make the big decisions etc... technically he did not report to me. We had a ditz of an executive assistant who left the salaries of all the employees on the printer not once but twice. The first time I managed to deliver it to her without reading anybody else's salary. The second time I saw my co-worker's salary. He was making $15,000 more than me. Remember I had more experience and was essentially acting as his supervisor but made less than him. Yes I am female and he was male. He had health insurance through the company, I waived it and got it through my husband. We had the same amount of vacation. I was really pissed for a really long time. Forget me working late (salary).

                            My current job I negotiated a starting vacation time of 3 weeks instead of the normal 4 weeks.

                            One employer I received a credit for not electing their health insurance so in essence my salary was higher. There are so much to a benefit package beyond salary. We tend to talk only salary and not the vacation, benefits, tuition reimbursement etc... so it can be hard to compare apples to apples.

                            I can see why employers don't want you discussing salary from both sides of the equation. But it is a bit odd in a barn job.

                            Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Recent experiences have demonstrated clearly that I do not know enough about employment law.

                              I certainly want to de better this time 'round.

                              So I don't know about the idea that I can't consult with "others " to advise me.

                              "Others?" As in nobody on the planet?

                              It is a farm job. But for a very well off person. I was told they " trust their professionals but don't want to be robbed. "

                              Sounds like I sure as heck do need the help of "others."




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                              Comment


                              • #16
                                The National Labor Relations Act specifically excludes agricultural workers. Don't know if a barn job counts as agricultural.

                                https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/employee-rights

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  In general, discussing pay is to the benefit of the worker, and discouraging discussions of pay is to the benefit of the employer.

                                  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/31/s...ights-act.html

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    When I was working, I was in corporate like SonnysMom.

                                    Pay band was tied to job title and those weren't confidential.

                                    Actual pay was usually within the pay band for the title.

                                    I don't ever recall an employer telling me I couldn't talk about my salary/compensation but I didn't. I don't want to know what anyone made just as I don't want anyone else to what what I made.
                                    Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Sounds like someone is going to lowball you and doesn't want you to know how badly.

                                      There is absolutely nothing keeping you from asking the opinions of others about a prospective salary. What do they think the going rate is? Etc. This discussion can be done without ever revealing what your offer is.

                                      A shame there Isnt a Glassdoor like site for barn work.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Generally, it's illegal for an employer to fire or retaliate against an employee for discussing pay (though as pointed out earlier in the thread and in the below link there are exceptions). Companies that have rules prohibiting such in there handbooks could find themselves in hot water with their state labor board. There have been multiple successful lawsuits against companies that dismissed employees for discussing pay with co-workers, but of course they bank on employees not knowing their rights (corporations have done a good job on convincing the masses that they have no rights whatsoever when it comes to their jobs).

                                        http://time.com/money/4326302/tellin...s-your-salary/
                                        Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.

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