Many states have adopted laws that ban employers from requesting salary history information from job candidates. Proponents of these laws believe that when employers ask prospective employees for their salary history, it perpetuates disparities in pay based on gender and other factors as workers shift from one job to another. Businesses have also used previous salary information to calculate new hire compensation—a process that can perpetuate pay disparity between women and men.
To address this inequality, several states and municipalities have enacted bans on asking a candidate for their previous salary information, although laws vary in terms, scope, and applicability.
The table below lists all the states and what laws they have implemented:
|Employers can’t decline hiring, interviewing, promoting or employing an applicant if they refuse to provide their pay history.
|Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history. If they already have the information or the applicant volunteers it, that information can’t be used to determine pay. Employers are also required to provide pay scale information if an applicant asks.
|Employers can’t ask for or use an applicant’s compensation when setting pay. Employers also can’t disclose a current or former employee’s salary without their consent.
|Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history. They also can’t use pay history to set salaries. They can’t discriminate or retaliate against a candidate who doesn’t disclose their pay history.
|Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history, unless the applicant voluntarily disclosed the information.
|Employers can’t screen applicants based on past salary and they can’t ask about salary history. They can verify salary after extending an offer.
|District of Columbia
|Government agencies can’t ask applicants for their salary history unless it’s brought up by the candidate after an employment offer is extended.
|The city can no longer ask for pay history on its applications, in interviews or employment screenings.
|Employers can’t ask about salary history. They also can’t use that information unless the applicant volunteers it. The law doesn’t apply to internal applicants.
|The state can’t ask applicants about salary history.
|Employers can’t ask about salary history including benefits or other compensation but they can discuss the applicant’s pay expectations.
|City departments can’t ask for salary history.
|City offices can’t ask for an applicant’s salary history.
|City offices can’t ask for an applicant’s salary history. Applicants can provide pay history to negotiate a higher salary after an offer is made.
|Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history until a job has been offered.
|The county can’t use salary history to decide whether to hire an applicant. They also can’t retaliate against or decline to hire a person who refuses to share their salary history. The county can use salary history to offer a higher salary than initially offered as long as this doesn’t result in unequal pay for equal work and the information was voluntarily disclosed.
|Employers can’t ask for salary history. They can confirm history if the applicant volunteers or if they’ve extended an offer.
|Michigan has banned salary history bans.
|State offices can’t ask an applicant about their salary history until a conditional employment offer is made. They also can’t ask current or prior employers or search public records to get that information. If salary is already known, it can’t be used to make a hiring decision..
|City offices can’t ask for salary history.
|Employers can’t ask for or use salary history when offering employment or determining salary, benefits or other compensation. They can discuss the applicant’s pay expectations. Prohibitions don’t apply to information disclosed by the applicant.
|City offices can’t ask for pay history until the person has been hired.
|State offices can’t ask applicants for salary history or investigate prior salaries of applicants.
|State offices can’t request salary history until after an employment offer is made. If previous compensation is already known, it can’t be used to determine an applicant’s salary.
|Employers can’t ask for salary history. An employer can confirm salary if the applicant gives a pay history to support a higher salary when a job is offered.
|New York City
|Employers can’t ask about previous pay or benefits. If they already have that information, they can’t use it to set pay.
|Employers can’t request past compensation information until after a job offer is made.
|Employers can’t request past compensation information. They can’t search public records or use known salary information to set pay.
|Employers can’t request past compensation information. They can confirm past pay and use that information in setting pay in certain circumstances.
|State agencies can’t request salary history and can’t use previously obtained salary information to set pay.
|Employers can’t ask for salary history or use known salaries. They’re also required to provide a pay scale for a position if the applicant has received an employment offer.
|Employers can’t ask for pay history. They also can’t require an applicant’s compensation to satisfy minimum or maximum criteria. They can discuss an applicants’ pay expectations.
|Employers can’t ask about pay history until an employment offer has been made. They’re also prohibited from using previous salary information to set pay, except for existing employees moving to a new role.
|State agencies can’t ask about current compensation or compensation history. Additionally all job postings have to clearly disclose a position’s pay scale and range.
|City employers can’t ask about prior pay. If they discover the information, they’re prohibited from using it unless the applicant has volunteered it.
|Employers can’t request pay histories, but voluntary salary disclosures made after a job offer has been extended are allowed.
|The city can’t use pay history unless the applicant voluntarily provides the information.
|Richland County has deleted the salary history question from its applications, interviews and employment screenings.
|Salt Lake City
|City offices can’t ask an applicant about their salary history. If the applicant voluntarily provides the information, it can’t be used to determine current salary.
|Employers can’t request pay histories. If the information is volunteered, they can only confirm after making a job offer.
|Employers can’t ask for pay history. They can confirm voluntarily disclosed information before or after an offer has been extended.
Businesses with 15 or more employees must provide the minimum salary for the position upon applicant request and after an offer has been extended.
|Wisconsin has banned salary history bans.
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