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Can Employers Ask
About Salary History?
Increasingly,
the answer to
that question
is no.
Salary history questions are now
off limits in 4 states, 3 large cities
and 1 U.S. Territory.
California, Delaware, Massachusetts,
Oregon, Puerto Rico and New York
City, Albany and Philadelphia.
According to the National Conference of State
Legislatures, 22 other states are considering
similar measures.
One of the aims of this initiative is to
close the gender pay gap. Women
earned 79.6 cents for every dollar
men made in 2015 according to the
Census Bureau.
Advocates say
questions about salary
history reinforce unfair
wages. Revealing
current salary can
prevent women from
reaching market rate.
What Should Employers Do?
Take these steps if your company is
in an affected region:
•	Remove questions about salary history 	
	 from your applications
•	Retrain all employees involved in the
	 hiring process on how to discuss salary
•	Paygrade open positions realistically
•	If you have multiple locations, address 	
	 regional salary differences
Questions on compensation
should focus on what salary the
candidate is seeking, not what
they are currently making.
What Does This Mean for Job Seekers?
•	You can voluntarily disclose your salary history.
•	Voluntary disclosure must be made “without
	 prompting” of any kind from the employer.
•	Decide whether providing salary history may
	 help your application or hurt it.
•	Ask for the pay range for the position before
	 you provide your salary history.
If you make more than the range,
decide whether you should not apply
or if the opportunity might be worth
adjusting your salary expectations.
Are more changes on the way?
Currently, the list of states and cities impacted
is short, but it’s possible that other states will
soon follow suit.
The Paycheck Fairness Act has been
introduced in Congress that would strengthen
provisions in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
This Act, if passed, bans employers from
asking about a job candidate’s pay history
during the interview process, and this would
cover EVERY state and municipality.
Interested in talking about how this
could impact your job search?
Contact Jacque Paige
Partner, Smith Hanley Associates
203-319-4310
jpaige@smithhanley.com

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Can Employers Ask About Salary History?

  • 1. Can Employers Ask About Salary History?
  • 3. Salary history questions are now off limits in 4 states, 3 large cities and 1 U.S. Territory.
  • 4. California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico and New York City, Albany and Philadelphia.
  • 5. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 22 other states are considering similar measures.
  • 6. One of the aims of this initiative is to close the gender pay gap. Women earned 79.6 cents for every dollar men made in 2015 according to the Census Bureau.
  • 7. Advocates say questions about salary history reinforce unfair wages. Revealing current salary can prevent women from reaching market rate.
  • 9. Take these steps if your company is in an affected region: • Remove questions about salary history from your applications • Retrain all employees involved in the hiring process on how to discuss salary • Paygrade open positions realistically • If you have multiple locations, address regional salary differences
  • 10. Questions on compensation should focus on what salary the candidate is seeking, not what they are currently making.
  • 11. What Does This Mean for Job Seekers? • You can voluntarily disclose your salary history. • Voluntary disclosure must be made “without prompting” of any kind from the employer. • Decide whether providing salary history may help your application or hurt it. • Ask for the pay range for the position before you provide your salary history.
  • 12. If you make more than the range, decide whether you should not apply or if the opportunity might be worth adjusting your salary expectations.
  • 13. Are more changes on the way? Currently, the list of states and cities impacted is short, but it’s possible that other states will soon follow suit.
  • 14. The Paycheck Fairness Act has been introduced in Congress that would strengthen provisions in the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
  • 15. This Act, if passed, bans employers from asking about a job candidate’s pay history during the interview process, and this would cover EVERY state and municipality.
  • 16. Interested in talking about how this could impact your job search? Contact Jacque Paige Partner, Smith Hanley Associates 203-319-4310 jpaige@smithhanley.com