A new salary law is eliminating a common question from the job interview process in a growing number of cities and states around the country.
Employers may no longer be able to ask a candidate about their current salary, depending on where they are located. The new law has been established as part of the effort to create equal pay for women. Advocates for the law say that low salaries can follow women throughout their careers.
The new salary law was passed by the Illinois legislature, but vetoed by the governor in 2017. Versions of it have been passed in New York City, Philadelphia, Massachusetts and California. A growing number of states are considering similar legislation in the coming year.
The question has served as an easy benchmark to establish a perspective hire’s salary expectations. However, it’s a complicated question for candidates to answer. If a candidate goes too high, they’re likely labeled as expensive, and if they go too low, they’ll have a hard time finding the right starting salary.
The Impact for Job Candidates
When a perspective employer knows what a candidate made in their previous position, that rate becomes more likely to follow them from job to job. The idea behind the ban is that it will prevent an environment where women are systematically paid lower wages than their male counterparts.
Banning the question makes any perspective employee is less tied to their previous salary, male or female. If they were looking for new work to find a more competitive salary, the ban on this question could potentially lead to a higher salary.
The Impact for Employers
Employers and HR personnel will need to keep on top of their state and city’s laws in respect to asking this question to remain in compliance.
There are still guides and benchmarks for employers to use as they negotiate salary with a perspective employee. For instance, previous skills and experience, as well as the market rate for a given position can serve as guides in salary negotiations.
Keep reading our blog for more news and advice related to the hiring process.