07 Aug Salary history bans: A running list of states and localities that have outlawed pay history questions
By: HR Dive, Photo by Jakub Gorajek on Unsplash
State and local governments are increasingly adopting laws and regulations that prohibit 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.
Here, we track the states, cities and other jurisdictions that have passed such bans, and offer a brief description of each law’s requirements, its effective date and a link to the original law.
- State-wide Bans: 17
- Local Bans: 18
Employers may not refuse to hire, interview, promote or employ a job applicant based on the applicant’s decision not to provide pay history.
California’s ban prohibits private and public employers from seeking a candidate’s pay history. Even if an employer already has that information or an applicant volunteers it, it still can’t be used in determining a new hire’s pay. The law also requires employers to give applicants pay scale information if they request it.
A city ordinance in San Francisco prohibits employers from both asking and considering a job applicants’ current or prior compensation in setting pay. It also bars them from disclosing a current or former employee’s salary information without their consent.
Employers may not ask about an applicant’s pay history, nor can they rely on pay history to determine wages. Employers may not discriminate or retaliate against a prospective employee for failing to disclose their pay history.
Employers may not ask about an applicant’s pay history, unless it was voluntarily disclosed.
Employers are prohibited from screening applicants based on past compensation and from asking about salary history. They may, however, confirm that information after an offer is extended.
Atlanta will not ask for salary history on its employment applications, in verbal interviews or in employment screenings.
Employers are prohibited from asking about applicants’ salary histories, and they cannot rely on that information unless volunteered by the applicant. The law does not apply to internal applicants.
Illinois’ governor said the state will no longer ask prospective employees questions about salary history.
Employers may not seek pay history including benefits or other compensation. Employers may, however, discuss applicants’ pay expectations.
City departments may not ask for applicants’ salary histories.
City agencies may not ask for applicants’ salary histories.
City agencies may not ask for applicants’ salary histories.
An employer may not seek information about a prospective employee’s pay history until after a job offer has been negotiated.
The county will neither seek nor rely on an applicant’s salary history as a factor in determining whether to hire the applicant or when setting pay. The county must not retaliate or refuse to hire an applicant for the applicant’s refusal to disclose their salary history. The county may rely on salary history voluntarily disclosed by an applicant to offer the applicant a higher wage than initially offered if this does not result in unequal pay for equal work based on gender.
Employers cannot request salary history information. They can, however, confirm prior history if volunteered by the applicant or if an offer has been extended. If known, previous pay cannot be a defense to a pay discrimination claim.
Michigan has prohibited salary history bans in the state. Local governments may not regulate the information that employers must request, require, or exclude on an application for employment or during the interview process.
Departments may not ask about a job applicant’s salary history until a conditional offer of employment is extended. They also may not ask a current or prior employer or search public records databases to ascertain an applicant’s current or previous salary. Information already known or inadvertently discovered may not be considered.
Applications for employment with the city shall not inquire about salary history.
The city may not ask applicants for their pay history until they have been hired at an agreed-upon salary.
Employers may not ask for nor rely on job applicants’ salary history when deciding to offer employment, or in determining salary, benefits or other compensation during the hiring process. Employers may ask about the applicant’s expectations around salary, benefits and compensation. The law’s prohibitions don’t apply to voluntary and unprompted disclosures of salary history information by an applicant.
New Jersey agencies and offices are prohibited from asking job applicants for their compensation history, or investigating the prior salaries of applicants.
Employers may not screen applicants based on their pay history. Employers may not require that an applicant’s prior wages, salaries or benefits meet minimum or maximum criteria. If an applicant voluntarily, without employer prompting or coercion, discloses pay history, an employer may verify the applicant’s pay history and may also consider pay history in determining the applicant’s salary, benefits and other compensation. After an offer of employment that includes an explanation of the overall compensation package has been made to the applicant, an employer may request the applicant provide the employer a written authorization to confirm pay history.
State agencies and departments may not request salary history from applicants until after an offer of employment is extended. If an applicant’s prior compensation is already known, that information may not be relied upon in determining such applicant’s salary, unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement.
Employers may not seek pay history. An employer may only confirm pay history if, at the time an offer of employment is made, applicants or current employees respond to the offer by providing pay history to support a wage or salary higher than that offered by the employer.
New York City
Employers in New York City are prohibited from requesting information about job applicants’ previous pay or benefits. If an employer already has that information, it is prohibited from using that information to set pay.
Employers are barred from requesting information about past compensation and benefits until after a job offer is made.
Employers may not ask, whether on an application or otherwise, about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including compensation and benefits. Employers also may not conduct searches of publicly available records. Finally, employers may not rely on known salary history information in setting pay.
Employers may not request information about previous wages. Only under limited circumstances may they confirm prior pay and rely on that information in setting pay.
State agencies may not request pay history information from applicants and may not rely upon previously obtained prior salary information in setting pay.
Employers may not ask applicants about their salary history and may not rely on known salary histories. Employers also must, upon reasonable request, provide a pay scale for a position for which an applicant has been provided a conditional offer of employment.
Employers may not ask for nor screen job applicants based on their pay history. They may not require that an applicant’s pay history, benefits or other compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria. Employers may, however, discuss applicants’ pay expectations.
Employers may not ask about an applicants’ pay history until after an offer of employment is extended. Employers also are prohibited from using prior compensation to set pay, except for current employees moving to a new position with the same employer.
State agencies may not ask about a job applicant’s current compensation or compensation history at any stage during the hiring process. All job postings must clearly disclose a position’s pay scale and pay range.
Philadelphia’s salary history ban remains on hold while a judge considers a legal challenge to the regulations.
The city’s agencies and offices may not ask about an applicant’s prior pay and, if they discover it, are prohibited from relying on that information unless the applicant has volunteered it.
Employers may not request applicants’ pay history, but the law makes some exceptions for applicants’ voluntary salary disclosures and pay corroboration that take place after a job offer has been made, according to a translation from Littler Mendelson.
Richland County will remove the salary history question from employment applications, verbal interviews and employment screenings.
Salt Lake City
Individuals participating in a city hiring process are prohibited from asking an applicant about their salary history. If an applicant voluntarily discloses salary information, the city cannot rely on such information.
Employers may not request applicants’ pay history. If that information is volunteered, employers may only confirm it after a job offer has been made.
Employers may not seek pay history. They may, however, confirm that information if the applicant voluntarily discloses it or if an offer has been extended.
Employers with 15 or more employees, upon request of the applicant and after extending an offer to the applicant, must provide information about the minimum salary for the position for which the applicant is applying.