From The HR Support Center: When a New Employee Shares Pay Information

From The HR Support Center: When a New Employee Shares Pay Information


A new employee told coworkers that she received a signing bonus. Now they’re upset, saying they’ve been here longer and haven’t gotten anything extra. What should I do about this situation?


First, don’t reprimand the new employee who shared her pay information. Discussing pay is a protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act. You can read about this law and what protections it provides to employees on the platform.

Second, it may be worth thinking about why you offer signing bonuses but not retention bonuses, and whether you can afford to do both. If you’re offering sign-on bonuses because it’s hard to hire right now, realize that not offering matching retention bonuses may ultimately lead to more open positions if your long-term employees decide to leave over these kinds of inequities. Additionally, be aware that offering one type of bonus but not the other could create pay disparities between employees who do similar work, which could expose you to discrimination and pay equity claims.

Third, be transparent about pay decisions as appropriate. Sharing your reasoning with employees can provide clarity and understanding, helping to prevent surprises and speculation.

Original content by the HR Support Center. This information is provided with the understanding that Payroll Partners is not rendering legal, human resources, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from a lawyer, HR consultant or other professional.