Some states and cities are banning questions about salary history as part of an effort to ensure pay equity for women. However, some companies argue that this is another example of government meddling with private businesses.
The primary argument in favor of finding out a candidate’s salary history is to help determine if a candidate’s salary needs are above the employer’s range. This helps to avoid wasting the candidate’s time and as well as the employer’s time. However, the response to that argument is that this issue can be avoided by simply including a salary range in a job posting or telling a job candidate early in the process what the salary range is.
Currently, Philadelphia, New York City and Massachusetts, have passed legislation barring employers from asking candidates about their salary history. These laws are scheduled to take effect in New York later this year and in Massachusetts in July 2018. However, Philadelphia is holding off on enforcing the new law pending a ruling by a federal judge on a petition filed by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia to block the new law. A federal court already issued a temporary stay on the law, which was supposed to become effective on May 23, 2017.
There are at least eight other states that are considering similar legislation: Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.