State-by-state salary history ban

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In 2016, Massachusetts prohibited employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history. Since then, more and more states, counties, and cities have passed salary ban laws and regulations. The intent behind the legislation is to prevent salary discrimination and to ensure employees are offered a salary based on merit, rather than what they were paid in previous jobs. 

 

Click your state on the map to get a better understanding of any salary history laws that apply to your business.

 

Note: We will continue to update this article as new rules and regulations are passed, but it’s also a good idea to talk to an employment law specialist to learn more about any requirements in your state. If you’re beginning the interview process, we’ve also pulled together this guide to how to manage an effective interview process for employers.

Alabama:

Effective date: September 1, 2019

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Employers may not refuse to interview, promote, or employ a job applicant based on the applicant’s decision to not provide pay history. 

Alaska:

None

Arizona:

None

Arkansas:

None

California:

Effective date: January 1, 2018

Employers affected: All employers in the state, including state and local government employers and the legislature

How it impacts your business: Private and public employers are prohibited from seeking a candidate’s pay history. In the event the employer already has that information, or an applicant volunteers it, it still can’t be used in determining a candidate’s pay. The law also requires employers to give applicants pay scale information if they request it.

 

San Francisco: 

Effective date: July 1, 2018

Employers affected: All employers in the City, including city contractors and subcontractors

How it impacts your business: Employers in San Francisco are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s salary history and from considering an applicant’s current or prior compensation when setting pay rates. It also prohibits employers from disclosing a current or former employee’s salary information without their consent.

Colorado:

Effective date: January 1, 2021

Employers affected: All employers in the state, including the State of Colorado

How it impacts your business: Employers may not ask about an applicant’s pay history or rely on pay history to determine a prospective employee’s pay rate. Employers may not discriminate or retaliate against a prospective employee for failing to disclose their pay history.

Connecticut:

Effective date: January 1, 2019

Employers affected: Any individual, corporation, LLC, partnership, voluntary association, joint stock association, the state, and any public corporation within the state

How it impacts your business: Employers may not ask about an applicant’s pay history unless it was voluntarily disclosed.

District of Columbia:

Effective date: November 17, 2017

Employers affected: Agencies of the DC government

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to the District government employment candidates. Unless it is brought up by a candidate after an offer of employment is extended, District government agencies are prohibited from asking candidates for their salary history.

Delaware:

Effective date: December 14, 2017

Employees affected: All employers including agents of that employer

How it impacts your business: Employers are prohibited from asking about salary history and screening applicants based on past compensation. Only after an offer is extended, are employers able to confirm salary history information.

Florida: 

None

Georgia:

Atlanta:

Effective date: February 18, 2019

Employers affected: City agencies

How it impacts your business: This regulation applies only to City employment candidates. The City of Atlanta may not ask for salary history on its employment applications, in verbal interviews, or in employment screenings.

Hawaii:

Effective date: January 1, 2019

Employers affected: All employers in the state including their agents and employment agencies 

How it impacts your business: Employers are prohibited from asking about applicants’ salary histories, and unless volunteered by the applicant, they cannot rely on that information to determine salary. The law does not apply to internal applicants.

Idaho:

None

Illinois:

Effective date: September 29, 2019

Employers affected: State agencies

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to State employment candidates.  Employers may not seek pay history including benefits or other compensation. However, employers may discuss applicants’ pay expectations.

 

Chicago:

Effective date: April 10, 2018

Employers affected: City departments

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to City employment candidates. City departments may not ask for applicants’ salary histories.

Indiana:

None

Iowa:

None

Kansas:

None

Kentucky: 

Louisville:

Effective date: May 17, 2018

Employers affected: The Louisville and Jefferson County Metro Government or any agency, department, or office thereof unless specifically excluded in the law.

How it impacts your business: This law only applies to County Metro Government employment candidates. Agencies may not ask for applicants’ salary histories.

Louisiana:

New Orleans

Effective date: October 1, 2019 (most recent revision)

Employers affected: City of New Orleans

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to City employment candidates. City agencies may not ask for applicants’ salary histories. The City won’t rely on pay history to determine whether to offer employment to an applicant nor when determining wages of the applicant. An applicant may offer pay history to negotiate a higher salary once an offer of employment has been made.

Maine:

Effective date: September 17, 2019

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Employers are prohibited from seeking information about a prospective employee’s pay history until after a job offer has been negotiated.

Maryland:

Montgomery County:

Effective date: August 14, 2019

Employers affected: The Montgomery County Government

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to County Government employment candidates. The county won’t seek or rely on an applicant’s salary history as a factor when deciding whether to hire an applicant or in determining an applicant’s wages. The County must not retaliate or refuse to hire an applicant based on the applicant’s refusal to disclose their salary history.

Massachusetts:

Effective date: July 1, 2018 (most recent revision)

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Employers cannot request or seek information about an applicant’s current or past salary history — either from the applicant or from their current or former employer. Employers can’t require that an applicant’s current or prior salary history meet certain criteria. Employers may confirm prior salary if an applicant has voluntarily disclosed that information or if an offer of employment with compensation has been made to the applicant.

Michigan:

Effective date: January 8, 2019

Employers affected: State departments and certain autonomous agencies 

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to government employment candidates. Until a conditional offer of employment is extended, departments may not ask a job applicant, or the applicant’s current or prior employer, about salary history. They also may not search public records databases to determine an applicant’s current or previous salary or ask a current or prior employer. Information already known, or inadvertently discovered, may not be considered when setting pay.

 

Note: Since 2018, Michigan has prohibited salary history bans for private employers.

Minnesota:

None

Mississippi:

Jackson:

Effective date: Jun 13, 2019

Employers affected: The City of Jackson

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to city government employment candidates. The City of Jackson is prohibited from asking about salary history on job applications.

Missouri:

Kansas City:

Effective date: October 31, 2019 (most recent revision)

Employers affected: All employers in Kansas City with 6 or more employees

How it impacts your business: Employers cannot ask for or rely on job applicants’ salary history when deciding to offer employment, or when deciding salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process. Employers may ask about the applicant’s expectations around salary, benefits, and compensation. If the applicant voluntarily discloses their salary history information, the law no longer applies.

Montana: 

None

Nebraska:

None

Nevada:

None

New Hampshire:

None

New Jersey:

Effective date: January 1, 2020 (most recent revision)

Employers affected: All employers including state entities

How it impacts your business: Employers may not screen applicants based on their pay history. Employers may not require that an applicant’s prior wages, salaries, or benefits meet minimum or maximum criteria. If an applicant voluntarily (without employer prompting or coercion) discloses pay history, an employer may verify the applicant’s pay history and may also consider pay history in determining the applicant’s salary, benefits, and other compensation. After an offer of employment that includes an explanation of the overall compensation package has been made to the applicant, an employer may request that the applicant provide the employer with written authorization to confirm pay history.

New Mexico: 

None

New York:

Effective date: January 6, 2020 (most recent revision)

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Employers cannot seek out an applicant’s pay history. If applicants or current employees respond to an offer of employment by providing pay history to support negotiating a wage or salary higher than that offered by the employer, the employer may then confirm pay history.

 

New York City:

Effective date: October 31, 2017

Employers affected: All employers in New York City

How it impacts your business: Employers in New York City are prohibited from requesting information about job applicants’ previous pay or benefits. If an employer already has that information, employers may not use that information to set pay.

 

Albany County:

Effective date: December 17, 2017

Employers affected: All employers in Albany County

How it impacts your business: Employers are prohibited from requesting information about past compensation and benefits until after a job offer is made.

 

Suffolk County:

Effective date: June 20, 2019

Employers affected: All employers in Suffolk County

How it impacts your business: Whether on an application or otherwise, employers may not ask about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including compensation and benefits. Employers are also prohibited from conducting searches of publicly available records. Finally, employers may not rely on known salary history information in setting pay.

 

Westchester County:

Effective date: July 9, 2018

Employers affected: All employers in Westchester County

How it impacts your business: Employers may not request information about previous wages. Only under limited circumstances are employers permitted to confirm prior pay or rely on that information in setting pay.

North Carolina:

Effective date: April 2, 2019

Employers affected: State agencies

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to State agencies. State agencies can’t request salary history information from applicants and can’t use previously obtained prior salary information when setting pay.

North Dakota:

None

Ohio:

Cincinnati:

Effective date: March 13, 2020 

Employers affected: All employers with 15 or more employees located within the city of Cincinnati including the City of Cincinnati, as well as job placement and referral agencies. State and local governments are excluded.

How it impacts your business: Employers may not ask applicants about their salary history and may not rely on known salary histories when setting pay. Upon reasonable request, employers also must provide a pay scale when providing a conditional offer of employment.

 

Toledo:

Effective date: June 25, 2020

Employers affected: All employers with 15 or more employees located within the boundaries of the City of Toledo, including referral and employment agencies, as well as the City government.

How it impacts your business: Employers cannot ask pay history and cannot screen candidates using that information. They may not require that an applicant’s pay history, benefits, or other compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria. However, employers can discuss applicants’ pay expectations.

Oklahoma:

None

Oregon:

Effective date: October 6, 2017

Employers affected: All employers with one or more employees

How it impacts your business: Employers are prohibited from asking about an applicants’ pay history until after an offer of employment is extended. Employers also cannot use prior compensation information to set pay, except for current employees moving to a new position with the same employer.

Pennsylvania:

Effective date: September 9, 2018

Employers affected: State agencies

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to State agencies. State agencies may not ask about a job applicant’s current compensation or pay history at any stage during the hiring process. All job postings must clearly disclose a position’s pay scale and pay range.

 

Philadelphia:

Effective date: September 1, 2020 

Employers affected: Anyone who does business in the City of Philadelphia who employs one or more employees exclusive of parents, spouse or children, including any public agency or authority

How it impacts your business: If enacted, the law would prohibit employers from seeking  wage and benefits history from job applicants. 

 

Pittsburgh:

Effective date: January 30, 2017

Employers affected: The City of Pittsburgh

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to city government employment candidates. The City’s offices and agencies may not ask about an applicant’s prior pay. If it is discovered prior to setting pay, employers are prohibited from relying on that information unless willingly disclosed by the applicant.

Rhode Island:

None

South Carolina:

Columbia:

Effective date: August 6, 2019

Employers affected: The City of Columbia

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to city government employment candidates. The City will not seek pay history, nor will it rely on pay history in the determination of wages unless pay history is knowingly and willingly disclosed by the applicant. The City will encourage vendors who do business with the city to adopt similar standards, and it may factor in vendors’ pay history standards when considering and awarding city contracts.

 

Richland County:

Effective date: May 23, 2019

Employers affected: Richland County government

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to county government employment candidates. The regulation prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant’s wage or salary history in employment applications, verbal interviews, and employment screenings.

South Dakota:

None

Tennessee:

None

Texas:

None

Utah:

Salt Lake City:

Effective date: March 1, 2018

Employers affected: Salt Lake City 

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to Salt Lake City employment candidates. All Salt Lake City agencies are prohibited from asking job applicants about their salary history. If the information is voluntarily disclosed, it cannot be used in determining their salary.

Vermont:

Effective date: July 1, 2018

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Employers may not ask about applicants’ pay history. If pay history information is offered voluntarily, employers may only confirm it after a job offer has been made.

Virginia:

Effective date: July 1, 2019

Employers affected: All State agencies, as established through executive action

How it impacts your business: This regulation only applies to employment applicants at State agencies. Salary history may be discussed in the interview and when negotiating the applicant’s future compensation.

Washington:

Effective date: July 28, 2019

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Employers may not seek pay history. However, if the applicant voluntarily discloses it or if an offer has been extended, then employers can confirm that information. After an offer has been extended, employers with 15 or more employees must provide minimum salary information for the position only if requested by the applicant.

West Virginia:

None

Wisconsin:

Prohibits implementing a salary history ban

Effective date: April 18, 2018

Employers affected: All employers in the state

How it impacts your business: Wisconsin law prohibits salary history bans in the state. Local governments may not prohibit employers from soliciting the salary histories of prospective employees.

Wyoming:

None

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