Income

Can I Be Fired For Talking About My Pay?

There are some employers that try to prohibit any discussion of pay between employees. These company policies are called “pay secrecy” policies and New Hampshire law protects these discussions. The short answer: no.

IncomeNew Hampshire law protects employees’ pay discussions.

Employers cannot fire, discipline, retaliate or otherwise discriminate against employees for talking about their pay. That’s because, under New Hampshire law, employees are legally entitled to disclose their payments to other employees, ask other employees about their pay, and generally discuss the topic of pay. “Pay” includes an employee’s wages, salary, and other paid benefits.

Pay discussions are not legally protected for all employees.

New Hampshire’s pay protections do not apply to employees who, through their own job functions, have access to pay information pertaining to other employees. Additionally, employees with access to pay information may not disclose pay information to those who do not otherwise have access to it. An employee with access to pay information will not violate New Hampshire law, however, if they disclose pay information in response to a complaint or charge, or if the disclosure is made to further an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or other action related to pay. That is true even if it is an investigation conducted by the employer.

What happens if employers violate New Hampshire’s pay discussion law?

Employers can face steep consequences for taking adverse action(s) against employees if the action is taken because employees have discussed their pay. For example, an employer may be guilty of a violation level offense or even a misdemeanor. The employer may also be subject to a fine of up to $2,500. And, if an employee is fired for disclosing, discussing, or inquiring about pay, the employer may have exposure to liability for a wrongful termination claim.

If you believe your employer has taken adverse actions against you for disclosing, discussing, or inquiring about pay, please call us to see if we can help or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

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