The world of work is a complicated one, and so are the employment laws that govern it. The gray area between right and wrong when it comes to employee rights means that many team members—and bosses—are confused. Can employees talk about their earnings without getting fired? Are employers required to provide breaks? Many people think they know the answers to these common questions, but, in fact, they're perpetuating myths. Here are five of those mistaken beliefs—and the truth about them—so you'll be able to take off your work-rights blindfold.
Myth 1: Discussing pay with colleagues is forbidden
This is true only if you're divulging to Betty what Sally makes—and you aren't Sally. As long as you're not revealing another employee's salary, the National Labor Relations Act allows you to freely discuss your wages and working conditions with co-workers. In addition, employers can't require you to sign a confidentiality agreement or discipline you for telling your co-workers how much you make. Several states including California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, and Michigan have instituted their own employment laws to further protect workers' rights to discuss pay, and more states are in the process of doing so.