Nearly one month after International Women’s Day comes Equal Pay Day, adding more discourse to the national conversation about pay equity between men and women, and how employers are addressing the wage gap.
One popular piece of legislation picking up speed is a ban on employers asking for salary history information. Since Massachusetts passed the Pay Equity Act of 2016, salary history bans have gained in popularity with 13 state-wide bans and 11 local bans.
As with Ban the Box, this is a popular initiative that is gaining traction. And also like Ban the Box, there is no consistent standard from state to state or city to city.
While most laws are aimed at ending the cycle of pay discrimination, some regulations go further than merely banning pay history questions.
A few of the new laws prohibit an employer from relying on an applicant’s salary history to set compensation if discovered or volunteered. Others prohibit an employer from taking disciplinary action against employees who discuss pay with coworkers.
California is currently the only state that requires employers, if asked, to inform a candidate or employee of what a position pays.
Even in Philadelphia where a federal judge ruled that employers were able to ask about salary history information, upheld the part of the legislation that said past salary information could not be used in salary negotiations.
Preparing for the Future
The shift away from using past wage information as the benchmark when starting the salary conversation is causing hiring managers to re-evaluate how they approach the negotiation process. To keep ahead of the changing tide and stay within compliance, many employers are opting to remove the question entirely.
AmericanChecked recommends that you review your policies and documents with legal counsel, as well as your practices when performing past employment verifications. Even if you reside in a location without a ban, the legislation is gaining in popularity and picking up speed – it’s best to be out in front of it then caught off guard.