Not even in Kentucky.
Over on the r/antiwork Subreddit, a goldmine for employment law blog fodder, a Redditor posted this notice that a boss displayed in the breakroom at work and asked, “is this sign legal?”
The sign reads:
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, CONVERSING ABOUT WAGES (BOTH ON DUTY AND OFF DUTY) IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
This is considered proprietary information and as such, it is protected legally. If you are overheard speaking (OR LISTENING TO!!) a conversation in which wages are discussed, you will received disciplinary action up to and including termination.
As a reminder, Kentucky is an at-will state, meaning that your employment can be terminated for any reason without legal percussion. Or NO REASON.
Have any questions, ask Jer
Well, at least Jer didn’t confuse the at-will employment doctrine with the state’s right-to-work laws. But Jer, you’re marching to the beat of your own drum by banning all talk about wages.
Just ask the National Labor Relations Board, which has this to say on the subject:
Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or the Act), employees have the right to communicate with other employees at their workplace about their wages. Wages are a vital term and condition of employment, and discussions of wages are often preliminary to organizing or other actions for mutual aid or protection.
If you are an employee covered by the Act, you may discuss wages in face-to-face conversations and written messages. When using electronic communications, like social media, keep in mind that your employer may have policies against using their equipment. However, policies that specifically prohibit the discussion of wages are unlawful.
You may have discussions about wages when not at work, when you are on break, and even during work if employees are permitted to have other non-work conversations.
And here’s the key: employees have these rights whether or not a union represents them.
Don’t be like Jer. Check your employee handbooks, policies, agreements, and breakroom postings. If your business bans discussion of wages, the only one facing any “legal percussion” will be the company if/when the Board drums up probable merit for an unfair labor practice charge.