Adam Ruins Everything Encourages Salary Transparency Among Coworkers

In this episode of Adam Ruins Everything, truTV’s Adam Conover cavorts around an office, trying to motivate a cluster of reticent employees to discuss their salaries with one another. Do you already feel squeamish?

If so, Conover isn’t the least bit shocked. He claims that Americans would rather discuss their preferences for digital penetration than disclose salary information. But he also argues that this secrecy is only to our detriment. As he explains to one employee (played by Naomi Ekperigin), companies prefer that we remain cagey about the Benjamins. If we don’t know what our coworkers earn, then we won’t have a clear sense of the going rate for our salary. Managers often count on this ignorance, and, consequently, weasel out of paying us fair wages. Incorporating a little vocabulary lesson into the mix, Conover cites this power imbalance as “information asymmetry” and urges us to do away with the taboo that perpetuates it.

It’s a cheesy video–not nearly as kickin’ as Schoolhouse Rock–but a useful one nonetheless. You’ll learn about the National Labor Relations Act! And it features Oscar Nunez with a nerf gun, if you’re into that sort of thing.


Contact the author at

Video via YouTube.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Here’s a good place to ask this question. At a previous job, I left a direct deposit stub on my desk when I went home at night. I was written up the next day for leaving ‘confidential’ information out in the open. They actually had a company rule stating that you couldn’t share what you made with coworkers. Is that legal? I should add I’m Canadian (different laws, etc).