Nine states now ban salary history questions as part of the job interview process

With new laws being introduced in Hawaii and Connecticut on January 1 of this year, nine states now have legislation in place that prohibits employers from requesting salary history information from job applicants.

The laws are aimed at ending the cycle of pay discrimination and some go further than merely banning pay history questions. A few also prohibit an employer from relying on an applicant’s pay history to set compensation if discovered or volunteered; others prohibit an employer from taking disciplinary action against employees who discuss pay with coworkers.

In addition to Hawaii and Connecticut, California, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont all have some form of legislation restricting salary history information from candidates.

At the other end of the spectrum, Michigan and Wisconsin both have legislation banning any such laws.

See here for the full list and respective legislative bills.

The upside to such legislation is fairness. Proponents say that businesses should focus on the value of work on the work itself, employees’ experience and performance, as well as market factors, not the previous salary record of the candidate.

The downside is the compliance challenges, the brunt of which will fall on employers.

Whether or not your city or state is covered by such laws, the trend is taking hold. It may only be a matter of time before more join this growing list.

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