Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Salary Discussions Legally Protected

7. January 2005 • Rob Goodspeed
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(Cross posted at my personal blog)

A University of Michigan employee recently sent me an email pointing me to a 2003 article which reiterates that employees are allowed to discuss their salaries under the National Labor Relations Act.

“If you post the 2005 raises, post this message along with it (attached). I am a U of M employee. It is an article I cut out of the Detroit Free Press about a year ago and I would like to make a bunch of copies and stick it on tack boards around our department, but I know someone in administration will see it and take them all down. It’s called “Don’t be shy: Ask around to see if your pay is fair.” It goes on to say the federal law protects your right to inquire about your salary. I know administration tells everyone that they are NOT ALLOWED to discuss their salary, but this article sets it straight.:

The article, titled “Don’t be shy: Ask around to see if your pay is fair,” encourages employees to investigate how much their coworkers are getting paid, saying “don’t worry if your office has a policy forbidding salary discussions. Charles Craver, a labor expert at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., said your right to talk about your pay is protected under the National Labor Relations Act.”

> See 2003 U-M Employee Earnings
> See 2002 U-M Employee Earnings

The U-M Libraries has this information in their InfoDex:


The annual list of salaries of UM faculty and staff is available at the Information Center, 2nd fl, Graduate Library, in University Reserves on the 1st fl of the UGL, and at the UGL Reference Desk. Questions about details not covered by the salary list can be directed to Janet Gilson, Records and Information Services, 763-4502. List can be purchased by anyone for $28 plus $6 shipping if it is mailed. Michigan Daily sells a separate, different salary supplement that is spun out of the same database. The Daily’s list includes only faculty P&A and includes date of hire. It costs $8 and goes on sale sometime after the salary list comes out. A local blogger has posted the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 staff salary lists on the Web, as giant spreadsheets. But please note that neither is the most current salary list. For the 2003-2004 list see: For the 2002-2003 list see: