salary transparency

Transparency in Salaries

By Tom McKinney
NJ Employment Attorney

Many employers do not include salary information in job listings. Recently, the New Jersey legislature has taken up a bill that would require employers to disclose salaries in job posts. We will examine the implications of this bill, along with an employee’s rights to discuss their salary once they have been hired.

Why should employers include salary information in job listings?

Along with massive changes in workplace culture in recent years, conversations about salary information in job listings seem to have increased.

That’s likely because so many people are seeking to advance their careers and use their skills to their fullest potential. In doing so, they want to know that their employer values them and is willing to pay them what they deserve.

Additional factors, such as the rising cost of living and the length of time it takes to go through the job application and interview process, impact an employee’s desire to know how much they could be making in a potential role. These are all valid reasons an employer should be transparent about offered salaries.

Bill A3937

The New Jersey legislature is considering a measure, A3937, that would require all businesses operating in the state to disclose salary ranges and hourly wages in job postings. The bill would also force all employers to disclose promotions in external and internal postings.

Advocates claim the bill will make the state more competitive, as workers in surrounding states that have passed similar measures can access this information. Conversely, detractors say similar bills passed in other states have achieved only moderate success.

Can an employer prohibit you from discussing your salary?

Despite what some employers may claim, it is illegal to prohibit employees from disclosing their salaries. This is a federal law that applies to employers in every state, including New Jersey.

If your current employer is telling you not to discuss your salary with your coworkers, you may want to seek the services of a qualified labor law attorney.

New Jersey Law

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) makes it unlawful for an employer to prohibit discussions of salary and wages, even on company property. In fact, the law goes as far as to label such prohibitions as discrimination. If an employer engages in this type of conduct, it could face severe repercussions.

What about waivers?

Some places of employment require employees to sign waivers stating they will not discuss their salaries. Under the NJLAD, this is also illegal. Additionally, the law prohibits employers from engaging in retaliatory practices against employees who report them for prohibiting discussions about wages.

Under the NJLAD, an employer cannot ask their employees to waive any of their rights as a condition of employment. If your employer is engaging in this type of conduct, you may be able to take legal action.

Federal Law

The federal National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) bars employers from prohibiting discussions about wages and salaries. Under this provision, employees are entitled to collective bargaining rights, which necessitates the discussion of wages in order to pursue fair compensation.

An employer who coerces or restrains an employee in such a manner that they are not able to exercise this right is potentially guilty of an NLRA violation. This applies regardless of whether the employee in question is a union member or not.

Need an employment lawyer?

If you require the services of a qualified labor law attorney in New Jersey, look no further than NJ Employment Lawyers. We serve the Garden State in all matters related to employment law and have a reputation for compassion and excellence. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author
Tom McKinney is a skilled employment law attorney with New Jersey Employment Lawyers LLC. He has a track record of success in all areas of employment law, including sexual harassment, discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, whistleblower claims and hostile work environment claims. Besides litigation, Tom handles severance agreements and severance package reviews/negotiations for over 100 people each year. If you have any questions regarding this blog, contact Tom here.