Employee Wage Discussions Protected Under Provisions of New Hampshire Pay Equity Act

Employers in New Hampshire won’t have the shelter of law any more if they discourage their employees from talking amongst themselves about their wages. Effective January 1, 2015–two days from now–the New Hampshire Pay Equity Act takes effect, freeing up employees to discuss their wages without fear of retribution from their employer.

As did a prior version of the state’s equal pay law, the new law prohibits employers from  discriminating between employees or applicants on the basis of sex by paying employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.

But where the law goes further than its predecessor–originally passed in 1947–is in prohibiting employers from stifling employee conversations about wages. Specially, employers are prohibited from requiring employees to sign a contract or waiver that would prohibit them from disclosing their own pay information. It will also be against the law for an employer to terminate, discipline or otherwise discriminate against employees for disclosing their own compensation or benefits information.

Earlier this year, President Obama issued an executive order outlawing retaliation against employees of federal contractor  discussing their wages with each other. That order applies only to federal contractors. New Hampshire’s law covers all employers in the state.

Three cheers for the Live Free or Die State!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Parker Daws on December 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Joe, This is an irrelevant law, since many NLRB decisions for two decades have affirmed that discussion of wages is a protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act. Three cheers for New Hampshire for their redundancy.
    See an excellent article on this subject not too long ago by Eric Meyer: http://www.theemployerhandbook.com/2014/03/wages-arent-confidential-you-g.html

    Reply

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