San Jose, CA asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for California

Q: I am a California resident and am asked by my employer to sign an illegal employment consent form. What should I do?

One of the conditions of the consent form is that I do not discuss my wages and contains a 1000 dollar fine if breached. This is illegal in California and I have sent them the link to the information to my employer. If they do not budge and do not remove this from the paper, if this point is breached by myself, can it be used against me that I signed this condition?

2 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The provision is unenforceable by the employer whether or not you sign the contract.

If they refuse you employment because you refuse to sign the contract because of the illegal term, call an attorney.

If you sign the contract with the illegal term, and they try to discipline you in any way for violating the illegal term, call an attorney.

Good luck to you.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, employees have the right to discuss their wages, and any attempt by an employer to interfere with this right is illegal.

If you sign the consent form, it is still unenforceable regarding the illegal clauses. California Labor Code Section 232 specifically prohibits employers from requiring employees to refrain from disclosing the amount of their wages, and from disciplining, discharging, or otherwise penalizing employees for doing so.

If your employer insists on enforcing such a provision, they would likely be in violation of state labor laws. Even if you signed the document under duress, the provision related to wage discussion would not be legally binding. However, signing it can complicate matters and potentially imply agreement, so it's best to avoid signing if possible.

If faced with repercussions for not signing or for discussing your wages, you should consult with an employment lawyer to assess your options, which might include filing a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

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