Issuance of an interim rule allows for the requirements to be included in solicitations and contract immediately and puts contractors on clear notice of legal responsibilities that are already in effect. If the FAR rule is not issued ... this new requirement will not be incorporated into contracts, and contractors will be put at unnecessary risk of non-compliance with the E.O and labor rule. More importantly, this may unnecessarily delay action by contractors in providing the important protections for contract employees that the E.O. and labor rule are designed to provide.The new rule prohibits contractors (and subcontractors) from discharging, or in any other manner discriminating against, any employee or applicant for employment because the employee or applicant inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant.
This prohibition against discrimination does not apply to instances in which an employee who has access to compensation information of other employees or applicants as part of such employee's essential job functions discloses the compensation of such other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information, unless such disclosure is in response to a formal complaint or charge, in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or is consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information.
So now, employees may chatter freely about the compensation levels without fear of reprisal. A quick internet search didn't show any cases of reprisals against employees who disclosed their compensation information but, by golly, we now have a regulation in place - just in case it ever happens.