From the Hotline: Request for Pay Rate During Interview

Question: Can an employer ask a potential candidate for proof of the candidate’s current pay rate where he or she is currently employed?

Answer: Generally this is not an acceptable request at the interview stage. An employee’s prior pay rate is personal information and an employer would have a difficult time proving a business need to know this information. The rate of pay offered to an employee should be based upon company and market indicators such as demand, job requirements, budget, competitive benchmarking for the area, and in some cases the skill set of the applicant, but more often the skill set needed to perform the job. For this reason, we would advise against this line of questioning. However, in consideration of hiring commissioned sales staff, it is a method sometimes used in determining proven ability to produce and close deals; though again, we caution on the intent and approach.