Law Blog

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What You Need to Know About Salary History Bans

payAround the country, cities and states have begun to pass laws that ban prospective employers from asking job applicants for their salary history.

The public policy rationale behind these laws is that applicants who were making less than what the prospective employer had in mind to pay them will most likely be low-balled; and applicants who inflate their salary history to receive a better offer and are caught risk being terminated for lying.  Governments who have passed these laws also recognize that asking about an applicant’s salary history can negatively impact women and people who are moving from lower-income areas that generally pay less to higher-income areas that pay more.

California, Delaware, Vermont, and Massachusetts that have already passed salary history bans that apply to all employers, with Oregon, Connecticut, and Hawaii set to have their laws take effect in 2019. New York State and Pennsylvania prohibit state agencies from inquiring job applicants about salary history. New York City also has a salary history ban on the books that apply to both employers and independent contractors alike, while Pittsburgh, Chicago, Louisville and New Orleans have salary history bans that apply only to city agencies and departments. Philadelphia’s salary history ban is currently on hold pending a legal challenge.

However, two states: Michigan and Wisconsin, have prohibited salary history ban laws, meaning that employers are explicitly permitted to ask for a job applicant’s salary history, and localities in those two states cannot pass salary history bans.

Keep in mind that job applicants can voluntarily provide their salary information without prompting from a prospective employer but you look at the particulars of the salary history ban in your locale to determine whether or not the prospective employer can rely on this information in extending a job offer.

For more information or if you feel that a prospective employer violated a salary history ban in your area, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a consultation.

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