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Across the nation, state and local governments are adopting laws to prohibit employers from requesting salary history information from job applicants.    This legislation is the most recent measure to address and pay inequity, particularly among people of different genders, races and ethnicities. The theory is that workers who have experienced pay discrimination in the past will continue to do so, assuming the potential employer will base the applicant’s new salary off the previous salary and maintain a disparity in compensation. These new laws insist that salary should be determined by market factors alone.

Here’s a summary of recent Salary History Bans taking shape across the country:

Alabama

Takes effect September 2019

  • Illegal for all employers, regardless of size, to refuse hiring/interviewing or employment of an applicant based on the candidate’s decision not to provide salary history.

Atlanta, GA

In effect since February 2019

  • Removes “Salary History Box” from city job applications to ensure fair hiring practices

 

California

In effect since January 1, 2018

  • Applies to all employers, including state and local governments
  • An applicant’s salary history cannot be a factor in determining whether to offer employment
  • Employers are prohibited from utilizing an applicant’s salary history information to determine a salary offer
  • An employer cannot seek an applicant’s salary history information (including compensation and benefits) through any means – orally, in writing, personally or through an agent
  • Upon request, an employer must provide the pay scale for a position

Chicago, IL

In effect since April 2018

  • City offices are prohibited from asking about salary history

 

Cincinnati, OH

Takes effect March 2020 (estimated)

  • Applies to employers with 15 or more employees located within city limits
  • Excludes state and local governments, except the City of Cincinnati government
  • Includes job placement and referral agencies
  • Employers are prohibited from asking about salary history
  • Upon request, employers must provide a pay scale for a position when candidate has received a conditional offer of employment

 

Colorado

Takes effect in January 2021

  • Applies to all employers, including state and local governments
  • Employers cannot ask about salary history or use history to determine wages.
  • Employers are prohibited from discriminating against a candidate who does not disclose salary history.
  • View law.

 

Connecticut

In effect since January 2019

  • Impacts any individual, corporation, limited liability company, firm, partnership, voluntary association, joint stock association, the state and any political subdivision and any public corporation within the state with one or more employees
  • Prohibits employers from asking about a candidate’s salary history, unless voluntarily disclosed

 

Delaware

In effect since December 2017

  • Illegal for employers to screen applicants based on their compensation histories.
  • Employer is prohibited from seeking the salary history from the applicant or any current/former employers.
  • If applicant voluntary shares salary history, employers are permitted to consider salary history when setting compensation.
  • Violations of this law could result in penalties from $1,000 to $5,000 for a first offense, and up to $10,000 for a subsequent offense.

Hawaii

In effect since January 2019

  • Impacts all employers and employment agencies
  • Prohibits employers from asking about new hire’s salary history, does not apply to internal candidates
  • Employers cannot rely on salary history information, unless voluntarily disclosed by candidate

 

Illinois

In effect since January 2019

  • Limited to state agencies
  • State agencies will not seek salary history from candidates

 

Jackson, MS

In effect since June 2019

  • Limited to city of Jackson government.
  • Request for applicant salary history removed from city application

 

Kansas City, MO

Takes effect in January 2021

  • Applies to employers with 6+ employees.
  • Illegal for employees to consider job applicant salary history when offering employment or determining salary/benefits/total compensation during hiring process.
  • Employers can ask candidate for salary expectations.
  • Law does not apply when applicant voluntarily discloses salary history.
  • View law.

Louisville, KY

In effect since May 2018

  • Limited to government offices within the Louisville/Jefferson County area, who are prohibited from inquiring about candidate salary history.

 

Massachusetts

In effect since July 2018

  • All employers within the state are affected
  • Illegal for employers to request salary history from a candidate, but employers can confirm history in the event it was provided by the applicant.

 

Montgomery County, MD

Takes effect August 2019

  • Limited to county government departments.
  • County is prohibited from seeking or using a candidate’s salary history in making a hiring decision or setting compensation.
  • Candidate will not be penalized for refusing to provide salary history information.

 

New Jersey

In effect since February 2018

  • Affects state of New Jersey government agencies and offices
  • Illegal to ask candidates for or investigate salary history

 

New Orleans, LA

In effect since January 2017

  • Limited to city government departments, who are prohibited from asking about candidate salary history.

 

New York State

In effect since January 2019

  • All employers are prohibited from inquiring about salary history.
  • Employers are permitted to confirm pay history if a candidate discloses pay history at time employment offer is made, particularly situations when a candidate may counter-offer a salary higher than that offered by employer.

 

New York City

In effect since October 31, 2017

  • Illegal for employers to make any salary inquiry of an applicant. This include current and former employment history.
  • Illegal for an employer to consider salary history in determining the salary, benefits or other forms of compensation.
  • Employers cannot conduct any public information search for an applicant’s salary history.
  • Employer can use salary history to determine compensation and verify salary history ONLY if this information was supplied from applicant willingly and without any prompting.

 

North Carolina

In effect since April 2019

  • Illegal for state departments to request salary history from applicants
  • Illegal to rely on previously-obtained history to determine pay

Richland County, SC

In effect since May 2019

  • Salary history inquiries removed from county employment applications,
  • Illegal to ask candidate about salary history in verbal interviews and employment screening

 

San Francisco

In effect since July 2018

  • All employers within the city limits, including city contractors and subcontractors not in San Francisco city limits, are prohibited from requesting salary history.
  • Illegal to consider applicant’s salary information in determining offer of employment or salary.
  • Unless the salary history is publicly available, employers are prohibited from sharing a current or former employee’s salary history without applicant authorization.
  • Employers may verify non-salary related information and conduct a background check. If the background check discloses salary, the salary history cannot be considered when determining the salary to be offered.
  • From July 2018 to July 2019, the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) will issue warnings and notice to correct. OSLE will impose monetary fines between $100 and $500 per violation after July 1, 2019.

Oregon

In effect since January 2019

  • Illegal for employers to compensate employees differently based solely on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability or age.
  • Employers may not ask about current salary or past compensation until an it is made an employment offer with proposed compensation.
  • With express written consent, employers may seek to confirm the prospective hire’s pay history post-offer.
  • Employers may not reduce the wages of employees to comply with the law.
  • Employers that violate the Equal Pay Act may be liable to employees for unpaid wages.

Philadelphia 

Currently under litigation*

  • Prohibits employers conducting business in Philadelphia from inquiring into an applicant’s wage history.
  • Illegal for employers to base prospective salary on previous compensation, unless applicant knowingly and willingly shared salary history
  • If wage history is discovered during the hiring process, it cannot be used to determine compensation for the prospective employee.

 

Salt Lake City, UT

In effect since March 2018

  • Affects all city departments
  • Prohibits city from asking candidates about salary history
  • Even if candidate willingly provides information, city cannot use information to make hiring decisions

 

Toledo, OH

Takes effect June 2020

  • Impacts all employers with 15+ employees, including city government
  • Employers are prohibited from asking about salary history or screening candidates based on salary history.
  • Employers are permitted to discuss candidate pay expectations.

 

Washington State

Takes effect July 2019

  • Employers may not seek salary history, but can confirm information in the event a candidate has provided it.
  • Required for all employers, however employers with 15+ employees must be able to provide minimum salary information for positions
  • View law.

Moving Forward…

Corporate Screening advises employers in these areas to review job applications and the on-boarding process to ensure compliance with the new laws. Corporate Screening will provide additional information as laws get closer to implementation and if you have any questions, please contact your account representative.