The Latest on Past Salary History Inquiries

The Latest on Past Salary History Inquiries

Even though I have conducted countless interviews as a hiring manager and as a recruiter, I have to admit that I still cringe when I have to ask how much money a candidate has been making. I don’t know why, maybe because I was taught it is crass to talk about money, or because it feels intrusive, probably because it seems somewhat irrelevant.

Good news for me, that question may be going away, as widespread legislation at the local, state and federal level is being considered that will not allow employers to ask a candidate how much money they have previously been paid. The legislation is being enacted as national attention rises with efforts to curb the pay gap that exist between genders and minorities. Basically, the concept behind the legislation is that eliminating the ability for employers to base future pay scales on past pay scales can aide in slowly eliminating the past pay discrepancies. Companies would have to base pay rate on market rate compensation data and on the roles and responsibilities of the position.

Here is an update of States at local and federal level, there are ten Statewide Bans and 8 local:

California: Effective January 1, 2018. (San Francisco has additional legislation)

Connecticut Effective January 1,2019

Delaware:Effective December 14, 2017

Hawaii: Effective January 1, 2019

Illinois / Chicago: Effective April 1, 2018 (City Departments may not ask for Salary history)

Kentucky / Louisville: Effective Date May 17, 2018(City agencies may not ask for applicant’s salary history)

Louisiana / New Orleans: Effective Date: January 25,2017 (City agencies may not ask for applicant’s salary history)

Massachusetts: Effective July 1, 2018

Michigan: Effective June 24, 2018 (prevents local governments from regulating the questions employers may ask of applicants during job interviews.

New Jersey Effective February 1, 2018 (NJ Agencies and offices prohibited from asking applications for compensation history)

New York:Effective January 9, 2017 (State Agencies and departments prohibited from asking prior to offer being extended)

New York City: Effective Date October 31, 2017

Albany County: Effective December 17, 2017 (prohibited prior to job offer)

Westchester County: Effective July 9, 2018

Oregon: Effective October 6, 2017(prohibited prior to job offer)

Pennsylvania / Philadelphia: Portion of bill ruled unconstitutional, did upheld portion that allowed employers from relying on said information in setting pay rates: See more

Pittsburg: Effective January 30, 2017. (City agencies and offices)

Puerto Rico: (commonwealth wide) Effective March 8, 2017. (Some exceptions)

Vermont: Effective Date July 1, 2018

Wisconsin: Effective April 18, 2018 Local governments may not prohibit employers from soliciting the salary history of prospective employees. 

The US Census Bureau Reports that women make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Obviously, there are some factors that effect that number. The whole Lean In theory, that women are less likely to ask for a raise, so it is not necessarily the employer choosing to pay them less, or maybe they don’t work in the fields that tend to pay more. Economist though consistently find pay discrepancies even when not offset by other variables.

Personally, I am pro this legislation and not just because I don’t want to have to ask the question. I think it makes common sense that an employer should base pay ranges on the role and responsibilities for the position they are hiring for, and supporting market data, and not what someone else paid that employee.

Obviously not everyone is for this legislation citing various factors such as increased litigation, not necessarily solving the issue of pay inequality and hindering company’s compensation decision making ability.

We are curious about how our readers feel about this potential legislation, weigh in by email and I will share the comments.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.