The issue of equal pay and pay protections for women and minorities has been gaining momentum. In the past few months, new pay equity laws 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 Diego also has put into effect a pay equity ordinance that guarantees equal pay for employees of city contractors who receive city grants or that provide other services to the city, including goods and services, construction, leased property, and consulting. 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. The pay equity bill 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.

We can expect that at least 11 states will consider passing similar laws in 2018. Florida and New Hampshire already have pay equity bills drafted 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 things as not 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.