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Employees Post Their Salaries On A Notice Board After Delusional Message From Management
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Employees Post Their Salaries On A Notice Board After Delusional Message From Management

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Conversations in the workplace should be kept professional. Sure, you may show colleagues adorable photos of your children or a video of your puppy while grabbing a cup of coffee, but most of your conversations in the office should probably surround the job itself.

Some employers, however, like to draw a line designating what exactly workers are allowed to discuss. And after one manager at a Planet Fitness attempted to control conversations among his staff, they quickly reminded him of their rights. Below, you’ll find the posts between him and his employees that went viral, as well as some of the replies invested readers shared online.

One manager at a Planet Fitness in Kentucky decided that he no longer wanted his employees discussing their wages

Image credits: Craig Adderley / pexels (not the actual photo)

So he informed them of his new “policy” via this notice

Image credits: JoshuaPHilll

But the employees refused to comply, and instead responded with a reminder of their rights

Image credits: JoshuaPHilll

The note reads as follows:

“Yo Jer-Bear:

Seeing as you’re a manager in the great illustrious world of Planet Fitness gym franchises, it may behoove you to become familiar with the laws pertaining to it. Springling legalese and word-salad across an 8.5×11 paper you printed does not a legal doc make.

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Since research ain’t your forte, I’ve included a link to the pertinent documents on the left, right, top, and bottom of this paper. Kinda hard to miss.

Needless to say, you can’t legally tell us not to discuss wages in the good ol’ U.S. of A. We will continue to do so.

Furthermore, for the sake of making this a little more streamlined, shall we?

-Cue workers writing out their hourly wage-

The rest of your “subordinates” could not be reached, but they’re welcome to post their wage above.

Love,

$10.50 an hour Shelly”

Employees in the United States are entitled to discuss wages with colleagues if they choose to do so

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska / pexels (not the actual photo)

While some managers might like to believe that they have complete control over their employees while they’re at work, there are certain things that they can’t actually ban. In the United States, according to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees are entitled to discuss wages with other employees if they wish to. 

“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,” the National Labor Relations Board explains on their site. But if they’re not interested in engaging in these conversations, employees are also entitled to not participate in discussions about their wages. It’s completely up to them.

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If workers do decide to talk about wages, it is illegal for their employers to retaliate or punish them in any way. While the manager in this post pointed out that Kentucky is an at-will state, meaning that employees may be terminated at any time for nearly any reason, workers cannot be fired in ways that violate federal or state laws or statutes.

Limiting conversations about salaries can allow discrimination to go unchecked

Image credits: Cherrydeck /unsplash (not the actual photo)

Having conversations about your paycheck may seem harmless, but apparently, many employers would say otherwise. According to a survey from Indeed, 27% of employees are hesitant to discuss their wages because they’re worried about getting in trouble, and 38% admit that discussing their salary feels taboo. Forbes has also reported that a whopping 60% of tech workers say they’ve been told not to discuss their pay.    

As far as why managers try to silence their employees, Donna Ballman, an employee-side employment attorney and author of Stand Up for Yourself Without Getting Fired, told Monster that companies don’t want employees to catch on if they’re being paid unfairly.

“Employers hate it when employees discuss salaries because it exposes discrimination and other unfair pay practices,” Ballman says. “If your employer has a written policy or contract prohibiting salary discussions, you can report them to the National Labor Relations Board.”

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One way to cut down on discussions about wages is to simply pay employees fairly

Image credits: Mina Rad /unsplash (not the actual photo)

To prevent employees from wanting to discuss their salaries, Insperity recommends paying workers fairly in the first place. If they’re all satisfied with how much they make and aren’t earning less than their peers due to their gender or race, there should be no issues about their wages anyway. If they want to have a conversation surrounding their earnings, they might quickly realize that there’s nothing to discuss, and they’ll move on from the issue.

It’s also wise to encourage having a transparent workplace where employees are comfortable having conversations with HR or their managers about their wages. If they feel they deserve a raise, they should be able to bring it up without fear of retaliation, and they shouldn’t have to sneak around to find out what their colleagues are earning. Higher ups can also help employees understand their salary ranges and what their potential is to grow in the company and earn more in the future. If they have a goal and know that they’re on the right track, they might be able to relax and stop focusing on their salary for a while.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever been discouraged from discussing wages in the workplace in a similar way? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing similar themes, look no further than right here

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After the notices went viral, a discussion erupted online

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Readers discussed the importance of wage transparency and applauded the employees for standing up to their manager

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de-snoekies avatar
Alexandra
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Attention all subordinates"??? Subordinates??? Who calls their employees that in today's world?

staceybeaverhausen avatar
staceybeaverhausen
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

if you can not afford to pay your employees a LIVING wage you can not afford to be in business....full stop.

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de-snoekies avatar
Alexandra
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Attention all subordinates"??? Subordinates??? Who calls their employees that in today's world?

staceybeaverhausen avatar
staceybeaverhausen
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

if you can not afford to pay your employees a LIVING wage you can not afford to be in business....full stop.

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