The issue of pay has traditionally been an inevitable topic of discussion in any job interview. However, in a growing number of places throughout the country, an employer can no longer ask an applicant about his or her salary history. The locations listed on the chart below have enacted laws impacting private employers. More bans are expected at both the state and local level.
While the provisions of each law vary, they make it illegal for employers to ask applicants about their current compensation or how they were paid at past jobs. The rationale for these laws stems from the equal pay issue and the premise that pay for the job should be based on the value of the job to the organization, not the pay an applicant might be willing to accept. These laws are designed to reverse the pattern of wage inequality that resulted from past gender bias or discrimination.
For employers, this means:
- Establishing compensation ranges for open positions and asking applicants if the salary range for the position would meet their compensation expectations;
- Updating employment applications to remove the salary history information; and
- Training hiring managers and interviewers to avoid asking questions about salary history.
Again, these laws apply to private employers only.
|Jurisdiction||Effective Date||Applies To|
|California||January 1, 2018||All California employers|
|San Francisco, California||July 1, 2018||All San Francisco employers, including city contractors and subcontractors|
|Delaware||December 14, 2017||All Delaware employers with four or more employees|
|Massachusetts||July 1, 2018||All Massachusetts employers|
|Albany County, New York||December 17, 2017||All Albany County employers with four or more employees|
|New York City, New York||October 31, 2017||All New York City employers|
|Westchester County, New York||On or around July 9, 2018||All private employers in Westchester County|
|Oregon||October 6, 2017; enforcement begins January 1, 2019||All Oregon employers with one or more employees|
|Washington State||June 8, 2018||All Washington State employers with one or more employees|
Get it All
ThinkHR customers can get a more detailed and regularly updated version of this chart on Comply. For a running list of salary history bans (and bans on bans) that includes public employers, see HR Dive.