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Why Should You Speak to Your Coworkers About Your Salary?

Many people feel uncomfortable talking about their salary, especially with their other coworkers. They may think it is rude, or be afraid of retaliation from their boss for discussing that information. However, if you talk to your coworkers about how much you are paid, you could find some extremely useful information that you can use to your benefit. Here are just a few reasons you should speak to your coworkers about your salary?

  1. Your right to discuss your salary is protected by law
    • While many employers will discourage their employees from discussing their wages, the fact of the matter is that you have the legal right to discuss your salary. However, some employers will either apply social pressure to make employees feel awkward about talking about their pay, or threaten employees so they do not discuss their wages. In such cases, you should remember your right to discuss this information is legally protected, and employers cannot legally prevent you from talking about your pay, benefits, or other forms of compensation.
  2. You can compare your wages to industry standards
    • Another reason to discuss your wages is so you can compare your wages to industry standards. Various sources compile information about how much people are paid for specific jobs, including information on location, experience, and other factors that may affect a person’s salary. With this information, you can learn if you and your coworkers are being paid less than your peers in your industry.
  3. You can use it to negotiate a raise
    • If you discover you are being paid less than your industry average, you can use that information to help you negotiate for a raise, or better benefits. While some employers may be happy to underpay their employees, they do not want a reputation for underpaying their employees. This gives you an opportunity to negotiate for better pay, both for yourself and your coworkers.
  4. You can identify potential discrimination
    • Another important reason to discuss your salary with your coworkers is to identify potential discrimination. You can compare your pay with your coworkers to determine if you are being paid commensurate with your position, your training, your experience, and your time at the company. If you identify significant pay disparities between people with the same position and qualifications, that can be used as evidence to demonstrate potential discrimination.
  5. You can use it to help organize
    • Finally, you can use the salary information to help you organize your workplace. Employers may try to conceal information about their workers’ salaries as a way of suppressing labor organizing efforts. Once your coworkers understand how much they are being paid, relative to each other and relative to others in the industry, they may be more willing to consider unionization and collective bargaining.


If you have gotten into a legal dispute with your employer, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced New York employment lawyer who can protect your legal rights and advocate on your behalf. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 41 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. To schedule an appointment with New York City employment lawyer Steven Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000 or visit his contact page.

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