What You Need to Know About Salary History Bans
While Screening Job Applicants

If you are performing background checks on new hires, there are strict rules that govern what information you can request.

Many states prohibit asking about an applicant’s past salary history, and you must know how this law affects your company.

We have created a comprehensive, detailed, and easy to understand guide that explains exactly how this law affects your hiring practices, and what you need to do to remain in compliance.

Equal pay for equal work is a growing trend that is spreading like wildfire.

Equal pay for equal work is the concept of labor rights that individuals in the same workplace be given equal pay. It is sexual discrimination for men and women to receive unequal compensation for equal work and similar duties.

States have moved to pass laws that would prohibit employers from inquiring about previous wages earned, which would determine what the employer would be willing to pay the new employee.

There is not a size standard based on employers. This means that organizations with even one employee are subjected to the law.

The gender pay gap exists in almost every congressional district according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

State and local governments are increasingly adopting laws and regulations that prohibit employers from requesting salary history information from job applicants. States have implemented laws that seek to eliminate pay differentials on the basis of sex.

Just like with criminal records, employers may not inquire or ask an applicant what their previous wages were. This includes verifying wages as part of the background check.

Employers should have a pay scale or salary range for each position they are hiring for so that they may disclose this information to the applicant.

In some cases, employers may ask what the applicant income requirements or income expectation are. Even then, we still highly encourage consultation with a labor attorney just to be safe.

Just like with criminal records, employers may not inquire or ask an applicant what their previous wages were. This includes verifying wages as part of the background check.

Employers should have a pay scale or salary range for each position they are hiring for so that they may disclose this information to the applicant.

In some cases, employers may ask what the applicant income requirements or income expectation are. Even then, we still highly encourage consultation with a labor attorney just to be safe.

How do employers, especially small businesses, comply when they have employees doing multiple jobs?

In such circumstances, the employer wants to document the reasons employees are doing the jobs and being paid the wages. This can be done by:

  • Making sure there is a seniority system in place
  • Following a seniority system (with no exceptions)
  • Putting in place a merit system and using it
  • By measuring quantity and quality of production and including the results in employee earnings or wage incentive plans
  • Any other factors or reasons not based on sex

In the event an applicant discloses compensation history voluntarily, the employer may then use that information when determining salary. At this point, the employer will then be allowed to verify the candidate’s claimed wage as part of the employment background check.

Pay inequalities without a doubt can lead to poor employee performance, low morale, and high turnover. In the long run, this can have an effect on the company’s bottom line and prevent growth. Employers need to understand that employees will naturally discuss their wages with one another and as a result of that, they could potentially learn that they are being paid considerably less than another employee preforming the same duties or responsibilities.

If men and women are performing the same duties, they must receive the equivalent compensation for their work. This does not mean that all employees have to be paid the same wage. Differences in pay are permitted and any difference in pay must be based on reasons other than sex or gender.

This is why it is essential that you download the free white paper right now!

Download Our Salary History Ban Guide

There are currently 11 states that have implemented laws prohibiting employers from asking or verifying previous wages. These states are:

  • California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Wisconsin

There are currently nine counties/cities that have implemented laws prohibiting employers from asking or verifying previous wages. These counties/cities are:

  • San Francisco (CA), Chicago (IL), Louisville (KY), New Orleans (LA), New York City (NY), Albany County (NY), Westchester County (NY), Philadelphia (PA), and Pittsburgh (PA)

Please complete this form to download your FREE Salary History Bans guide!