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Podcast: Why Salary History Bans Are on the Rise

Several jurisdictions have passed laws banning salary history questions during the hiring process, with more likely in 2018. This podcast examines the trend and what employers need to know about it with Fisher Phillips attorney Cheryl Pinarchick, a founding co-chair of the firm's Pay Equity Practice Group.

The rationale behind these laws is that salary history questions perpetuate past discrimination and lead to pay differences between men and women for performing comparable work. "Pay discrimination can follow employees from job to job throughout their careers," said Pinarchick.

The Boston employment attorney noted that many companies are confused about they can and cannot do in states and cities with salary history bans. Pinarchick explains that asking about a candidate's salary history expectations remains acceptable. "It's a good way to figure out whether it's worth it to continue with an applicant," she advises. "Are they in the right ballpark for what the job is going to pay?"

Conversely, even in jurisdictions that permit salary history questions after an employer makes a conditional job offer, Pinarchick cautions against such inquiries. "My question would be what are you going to use the information for? You've already made an offer and determined what the job is worth."

States with salary history question prohibitions thus far include:

Additional Resources

How to Make Pay Equity Reviews Count

New York City Bans Inquiries Regarding Salary History

San Francisco, California, Bans Inquiries Regarding Salary History