On March 13, 2019, the city of Cincinnati passed Ordinance No 0083-2019 that prohibits employers from asking about or relying on the prior salary history of job applicants.
Under the new ordinance, which goes into effect on March 13, 2020 and applies to employers who have 15+ employees in Cincinnati, employers are prohibited from:
- Inquiring about the salary history of an applicant for employment
- Screening job applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, other compensation, or salary histories, including requiring that an applicant’s prior wages, benefits, other compensation or salary history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or
- Relying on the salary history of an applicant in deciding whether to offer employment to an applicant, or in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract; or
- Refusing to hire or otherwise disfavoring, injuring, or retaliating against an applicant for not disclosing his or her salary history to an employer.
Continue reading NEW LAW: Cincinnati Passes Salary History Ban
New York’s Suffolk County recently passed a county ordinance prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history as a part of the hiring process.
Under this new law, which goes into effect on June 30, 2019, employers are prohibited from
- Inquiring about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including but not limited to, compensation and benefits.
- “to inquire” means to ask an applicant or former employer orally, or in writing, or otherwise or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports.
- Relying on the salary history of an applicant for employment in determining the wage or salary amount for such applicant at any stage in the employment process, including at offer or contract.
By passing this new law, Suffolk County becomes the fourth locality in New York State to enact a salary history ban law (joining New York City, Westchester County, and Albany County). To date, New York State has NOT enacted a statewide salary history ban law.
It is recommended that employers in Suffolk County verify that all employment application materials are updated to remove any requests for salary history – including job applications and job interview scripts. In addition, all employees who are involved in the hiring process are trained about the new requirement and informed that they are not allowed to inquire into applicant’s salary history.
On January 1, 2019, Connecticut’s new pay equity law went into effect. Under this new law, Connecticut employers are prohibited from inquiring into a prospective employee’s salary/wage history. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Including inquiries about salary history on an employment application;
- Directly asking a candidate for employment about his/her salary history during the interview process;
- Directly asking a candidate’s former employer about the candidate’s salary history; and
- Using a third party to inquire into an applicant’s salary history.
Employers are still able to inquire about components of an applicant’s former compensation structure (e.g. retirement benefits, stock option plans), but the employer cannot ask about the value of the individual components. Continue reading NEW LAW: Connecticut Employers, Remember That The New Pay Equity Law Prohibits Salary History Inquiries
On July 5, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed Senate Bill 2351 into law. With this new law, Hawaii is the 7th state to implement a salary history ban and the 14th state to implement a pay transparency law. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2019.
Under the new law, starting January 1st, Hawaii employers will be prohibited from:
- asking a job applicant about his or her salary history or
- relying on the applicant’s salary history in determining salary, benefits, or other compensation
during the hiring process or negotiation of an employment contract.
Continue reading NEW LAW: Hawaii Passes Pay Transparency and Salary History Ban
In a recent twist in the cascade of state and municipal laws prohibiting employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history, a federal judge has ruled that Philadelphia’s salary history ban violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution by limiting employers’ free speech rights. This ruling may have a significant impact on other state and municipal laws that seek to similarly restrict what employers may ask applicants.
Following passage of Philadelphia’s ordinance prohibiting inquiries into applicant’s salary histories, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance based on its limitation of employers’ First Amendment rights. The court agreed in part.
In partially ruling for the Chamber of Commerce, the court held that the ordinance is unconstitutional in its prohibition relating to employers asking applicants about their salary history because that prohibition implicates the First Amendment’s free speech clause. At the same time, the court held that the second part of the ordinance, which prohibits employers from relying on salary history information at any time in the employment process to determine an employee’s salary, is constitutional and enforceable.
Thus, the court’s ruling enables Philadelphia employers to ask about an applicant’s salary history but leaves in place strict limitations on how they may use that information. Continue reading Philadelphia May Set the Stage for Other Constitutional Challenges to Salary History Bans
Vermont has joined the trend among states of banning salary history inquiries by employers by passing its own ban. Effective July 1, 2018, Vermont employers will no longer be permitted to inquire about applicants’ salary history information.
Prohibited Acts and Inquiries
Under the new law, Vermont employers will be prohibited from:
- Inquiring about or seeking information about a prospective employee’s current or past compensation from the prospective employee or his or her current or former employer;
- Requiring that a prospective employee’s current or past compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or
- Determining whether to interview a prospective employee based on his or her current or past compensation.
Permitted Act and Inquiries
If an applicant voluntarily discloses information about his or her current or past compensation, employers may, after making an offer of employment with compensation to the applicant:
- Seek to confirm the applicant’s voluntarily disclosed salary history information; or
- Request that the applicant confirm the voluntarily disclosed information.
Employers may also: Continue reading Vermont Becomes Fifth State to Pass Salary History Ban
On May 22, 2018, Connecticut enacted its own version of the salary history ban, making it the most recent example of this recent legal trend. Similar laws were previously adopted in California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Vermont. Connecticut’s ban will take effect on January 1, 2019.
Existing Connecticut law protects employees but not applicants in relation to their wages. Currently, employers are prohibited from:
- Prohibiting an employee from inquiring about the wages of another employee.
- Prohibiting employees from voluntarily discussing their wages with other employees.
- Requiring employees to sign a waiver that denies them the right to voluntarily disclose the amount of their wages or the wages of another employee.
- Requiring employees to sign a waiver (or other document) that denies them their right to inquire about the wages of another employee.
- Discharging, disciplining, discriminating, retaliating or otherwise penalizing employees who disclose the amount of their wages to another employee.
- Discharging, disciplining, discriminating, retaliating or otherwise penalizing employees who inquire about the wages of another employee (neither the employee nor the employer is required to disclose the amount of wages paid to any employee).
Salary History Ban Continue reading Connecticut Becomes Sixth State to Pass Salary History Ban