Protection for Employees Who Disclose Their Wages
H.F. 2274 would prohibit employers from discharging or retaliating against employees for inquiring about, disclosing, or discussing the employee’s wages or the wages of another employee. Although not currently protected under state law, employees who engage in such discussions are probably already protected against retaliation under the National Labor Relations Act. Communications among employees about their terms and conditions of employment, including wages, are generally protected as concerted activity under federal labor law. These types of discussions have recently received considerable attention by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with regard to employment policies, particularly as they concern social media. Under the proposed bill, employers could not discipline or discharge employees for publishing information about their wages or inquiring about the wages of other employees. Some employers currently try to protect that information for the purpose of avoiding raiding by other employers. That practice is already suspect under federal law, and would be blatantly unlawful under the proposed legislation.
The proposed bill would create a private cause of action under state law that currently does not exist. The companion Senate bill, S.F. 1999, contains identical language.