The issue of equal pay and pay protections for women and minorities has been gaining attention across the globe.

At issue is the disparity in how pay is determined for men and women, and this that issue is addressed by employers. This study conducted by compensation software company Payscale of its users is revealing:

• 43 percent of respondents were asked about their salary history during the interview process. Nearly one quarter of those who were asked declined to answer.
• A woman who is asked about her salary history and declines to disclose earns 1.8 percent less than a woman who discloses. If a man declines to disclose, he gets paid 1.2 percent more on average.

No wonder salary history bans are gaining momentum at the state and local level.
In the past few months, new salary history bans went into effect in various parts of the country. More are expected to follow in 2018.

• In New York State, the Albany County Legislature unanimously passed a salary history ban ordinance which, as of December 2017, prohibits Albany County employers with four or more employees and employment agencies in the county from seeking an applicant’s salary history as part of the hiring process.
• New York City placed a similar law into effect in October 2017.
• Delaware passed similar legislation, barring employers from asking applicants for their salary histories, effective December 14, 2017.
• In California, a statewide ban went into effect on January 1 that prohibits employers from asking for or using a job applicant’s salary history in determining compensation for new hires.
• San Francisco will be implementing its own “Parity in Pay” ordinance in July. This law prevents employers from checking salary histories of applicants in an effort to close the gender pay gap.
• The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) will go into effect on July 1, 2018. This law has the goal of ensuring equal pay for comparable work for all Massachusetts workers and equal opportunities to earn competitive salaries in the workplace, and includes a salary history ban.

At least 11 states are considering passing similar laws in 2018. Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island already have drafted pay equity bills that include bans on disclosure of past salary history for consideration during their respective 2018 state legislative sessions.

Employers should try to get ahead of this trend by reviewing job hiring processes and paperwork to see if their companies’ practices are consistent with new trends in pay equity law, including such practices as refraining from asking applicants about their previous salary. The demand for pay equality is only going to grow, continuing to put pressure on legislators at all levels to consider implementing similar pay equity legislation across the country.

To learn more about achieving pay equity, click here.