Can my company legally print my hourly rate of pay on paperwork that I must share with my customers?

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Can my company legally print my hourly rate of pay on paperwork that I must share with my customers?

I am a retail specialist who travels from store to store building displays. I get instructions which I must often share with store management. My hourly rate of pay appears on much of my paperwork. I understand that they do this to preclude rate-of-pay challenges by field personnel, but it’s humiliating when my customers notice and comment on my rate of pay. If I try to black this information out, it can still be read in bright light. I have emailed multiple requests to stop doing this, as has my manager, but the issue persists. Doesn’t this violate my right to privacy?

Asked on November 18, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There really isn't a right to privacy in most employment situations.  Basically, an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as they see fit; including displaying your rate of pay on general paperwork.  This is because most states have what is known as "at will" employment, and CA is no exception.  For their part, an employee can work for an employer or not, their choice.   

Your employer's action is not illegal unless there is a stated company policy contrary this or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action.  Additionally, it would be illegal if this situation arose due to some type of discrimination (i.e., for reasons due to your race, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin).


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