Monday, July 16, 2018

Salary History Inquiry Prohibitions Spread

Connecticut became the latest state to ban employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. The new legislation applies to all Connecticut employers "with one or more employees”.  Much like other state laws and local ordinances, the Connecticut law prohibits employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s prior salary, including directing third parties, such as head hunters or recruiters, from making that inquiry. The job candidate may voluntarily disclose salary history though.

Connecticut employers are still permitted to ask job candidates about other elements of his or her compensation structure, such as commission or bonus structures “as long as such employer does not inquire about the value of the elements of such compensation structure.” In addition, the new law protects the right of employees to discuss their wages and compensation with other employees of the employer. Employees may not be prohibited from disclosing the amount of their wages, or from inquiring about the wages of another employee. Employers may also not require employees to sign a waiver or other document that denies the employee her or his right to inquire about the wages of another employee.

Connecticut joins about a number of other states and municipalities, including New York City and Philadelphia, which have outlawed salary history inquiries. While the City of Chicago has not enacted an ordinance similar to these others, Mayor Emmanuel has issued an order to all departments prohibiting salary history inquiries. The executive order also calls on the city’s sister agencies, such as the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Public Schools, to enact similar prohibitions.

Other states have staged counterattacks on salary inquiry bans. Michigan and Wisconsin enacted laws last Spring which block local governments from prohibiting employer questions about job candidates’ prior salaries.