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2017 Revealed Trend Against Salary Histories

While still at a relatively small number, more and more jurisdictions are seeing efforts to ban employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history.

California, Delaware, Massachusetts and Oregon are the states that have passed laws that prohibit employers from asking about salary history. Cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and New Orleans have also banned those questions. Albany County in New York and Puerto Rico have as well. It is believed that more locales will be added to the list in 2018 as more jurisdictions propose similar legislation.

While the exact prohibitions in the laws vary, the intent of these laws is to reduce the pay gap between men and women who are performing comparable work. Where salary history is part of the hiring process, pay discrimination follows the employee from job to job throughout her career, making it very difficult to move up to a salary commensurate with her male colleagues. Some jurisdictions do specifically allow a focus on salary expectations, which may offer an opportunity for the employer to determine whether the potential employee is in the right ballpark for the job.