Employers in Massachusetts may no longer inquire about previous salary history during an interview. The pay equity law requires commonwealth employers to compensate men and women equally based on comparable work. The law also prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their salary history as part of the screening process. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito says “this legislation is an important step toward advancing more equal, inclusive and thriving workplaces throughout the commonwealth for women and families”.

Just like “Ban the Box” employers must wait until a formal job offer has been given (which will include compensation) before inquiring about a potential hires salary history. The law which will take effect in July of 2018 also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who openly discuss their salaries. In Massachusetts it’s estimated that women earn 82 cents for every dollar a male earned in 2014 (American Association of University Women), the national level is 79 cents to every dollar.

It should be noted that these numbers are a wide overview comparing salaries of full time employees, year-round employees, and don’t factor specifics like experience and/or job title. When analyzing job title and experience the trend seems to narrow (but still exists), when comparing wages of employees with similar job title working at similar businesses and with comparable educational levels and experience. Employers may still factor in qualifications, experience, education, and training when determining pay under the new law.

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