More cities and states are considering laws to ban employers from asking potential hires about their salary history. Advocates of these laws hope eliminating salary history questions can finally help women achieve pay equality.
Statistics show women currently earn approximately 80 cents to the dollar earned by their male counterparts. When future income is based upon past salary history, women may never catch up. Thus far, California, Delaware, Massachusetts and many cities including New Orleans and New York have laws banning salary history questions.
The Gender Pay Gap
Despite continuing public discussion over gender equality in the workplace, a substantial wage disparity between the sexes persists. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that last year, women’s median earnings were just 82 percent of men’s in the same professions. Interestingly, the professions with the smallest gender gap are those historically held by women, including assistant teaching, food preparation and sewing machine operation. The gender gap is largest among financial advisors, insurance agents, and doctors and surgeons.
Salary History Question a Topic of Debate
Those in favor of banning questions about candidates’ prior salary history believe that it compels employers to find the best applicants for the job. The idea is that women’s pay would be based upon the value of their work instead of being based on long-held salary discrepancies. Advocates for the ban believe recruiters should use industry market data and a candidate’s skills, experience, and education to determine a fair salary.
Opponents to laws banning the salary history question argue that it is a crucial part of the hiring process. They believe knowing a candidate’s salary history saves the time of weeding out employees who are not on the same financial page as their potential employer. Salary history may also help companies stay on top of salary trends in the marketplace.
Many states that ban employer inquiries about salary history do permit candidates to volunteer that information at their own discretion. Even so, companies are prohibited from using salary history to make a salary offer, presenting unique compliance issues for employers in these states. These issues will be addressed sooner than later, as more than half of U.S. states are currently considering laws to ban salary history inquiries.
Marlton Employment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Fight for Women’s Right to Equal Pay
Federal and state laws prohibit New Jersey employers from treating an applicant or employee unfairly based upon their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Marlton employment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. are zealous advocates for those who have suffered discrimination on the job. To discuss your case with a seasoned Marlton employment lawyer, call 856-985-9800 or contact us online today.
From our offices in Red Bank, Newark and Marlton, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout Burlington County, Camden County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and across the state.