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As of January 1, 2019, Connecticut and Hawaii have joined the ranks of California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont by adopting state-wide bans against salary history inquires. State and local governments across the country are increasingly introducing and passing legislation prohibiting employers from asking candidates their salary history information, with the aim of ending pay inequity. The purpose behind salary history bans is to prevent employers from relying upon a candidate’s previous, and potentially discriminatory, pay to determine the applicant’s future salary, effectively stopping a cycle of gender and minority pay disparity.
- Connecticut: In May 2018, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed "An Act Concerning Pay Equity" into law. The law prohibits employers from inquiring or directing a third party to inquire about a prospective employee's wage and salary history. Connecticut employers may inquire generally about other elements of a job applicant’s previous compensation structure, such as stock options, but may not inquire about the value of such compensation. However, employers are free to discuss a candidate’s compensation history if he or she has voluntarily disclosed it.
- Hawaii: Similarly, in June 2018, SB 2351 amended Chapter 378 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. The law prevents employers from inquiring about or relying on the salary history of a candidate during the hiring process. Additionally, employers are prohibited from conducting a public record search for an applicant’s salary history. The ban does not apply to applicants for internal promotions or transfers. However, Hawaii employers may discuss and verify an applicant’s salary history if the applicant has voluntarily disclosed such information.
Ohio has not passed a salary history ban (yet), so Ohio employers are in the clear for now. However, with legislation introduced or pending in several localities, this trend is expected to continue. Accordingly, multi-state employers need to be aware of how bans may affect their businesses and should regularly review and update hiring processes to ensure compliance with the many differing state and local bans.