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A recent article in the New York Times captioned “Love, sex and politics? Sure. Salary? No way” discusses Americans' strong aversion to talking about their salaries. The piece notes that while discussion of financial matters is often acceptable in some parts of the world, it is generally considered “crass” in the United States. In short, discussion by individuals of their salaries and related matters can be seen as violating an American “social norm.” One-third of United States private sector employers have reinforced this norm by adopting specific rules prohibiting employees from discussing their wages with co-workers, rules known as pay secrecy/confidentiality (“PSC”) rules. Moreover, legal and human resource management experts recognize that in addition to workplaces with specific PSC rules, a significant number of other employers have more informal expectations that employees “keep their lips sealed about their salaries.”



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