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Is it legal for my employer to tell employees not to discuss their wages with co-workers?

Stockton, CA |
Filed under: Employment

They claim to be an E.O.E., but they pay certain people more because of being related to a higher up in the company-even when that person is less qualified than others in same position. They rely on the fact that majority of employees are illegal;and therefore won't persue unfair wage suits, or wage discrimination on basis of sex and ethnicity. Also can a company hire a personal friend for a position and pay that person substantially more than everyone else? (Even though everyone has higher performance than them.)

Attorney Answers 1


To answer your specific question, yes an employer can so instruct its employees. It can also decide to pay everyone a different amount if it so desires, and it can pay a friend substantially more if it wishes. The only thing an employer cannot do is to pay different wages based on protected classes of people. For instance, paying men more than women because they are men, or paying Caucasians more than Hispanics because they are Caucasian.

That is the nature of the employment relationship. The employer has great freedom to treat people differently as long as the different treatment is not based on unlawful discrimination against a protected class of people.

I wish you the best of luck.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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