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Breaking the Cycle: Why the Salary History Ban is Crucial for Fighting Pay Inequity

Salary History Ban: Fighting Against Pay Inequity

Have you ever been asked how much you are currently making during a job interview or on a job application? Chances are, you have.

However, there is a growing movement against this practice known as the salary history ban. In this article, we will explore what these laws are and how they are being implemented across the United States.

We will also discuss why salary history is seen as perpetuating pay gaps and how the ban aims to fight against pay inequity.

Cities and States Implementing Salary History Laws

Currently, 17 states and over 20 cities in the U.S. have implemented salary history laws. These laws aim to prevent employers from asking job candidates about their previous salaries or using that information to determine their new salary.

Some states, such as California and Oregon, also require employers to provide a salary range to job candidates upon request. The goal of these laws is to provide a level playing field for all job candidates, particularly women and minorities who are often paid less than their counterparts.

By preventing employers from using previous salaries as a basis for determining new salaries, candidates are given a fair chance to negotiate based on their qualifications and the market value of the position.

Salary History Perpetuating Pay Gaps

The practice of asking for salary history is seen as perpetuating pay gaps because it allows employers to continue to pay job candidates based on their previous salary instead of the market value of the position. This can particularly disadvantage women and minorities who are often paid less than their male and white counterparts.

By asking for salary history, employers are more likely to continue to pay women and minorities less than their counterparts and perpetuate pay gaps. In addition, asking for salary history can also perpetuate discrimination in the labor market.

If employers continue to pay women and minorities less than their counterparts, they will also be less likely to be promoted or given opportunities for advancement. This lack of advancement can further hinder their earning potential and perpetuate pay gaps in the long run.

Goal of the Ban

The goal of the salary history ban is to create a more fair and equal labor market by ensuring that all candidates are paid based on the market value of the position and their qualifications. This is particularly important for women and minorities who have historically been paid less than their counterparts.

By preventing employers from using salary history as a basis for determining new salaries, job candidates are given a fair chance to negotiate based on the market value of the position and their qualifications.

What to Do When Asked About Salary History

Now that you understand why salary history is seen as perpetuating pay gaps and the goal of the salary history ban, let’s discuss what to do when asked about salary history during a job interview or on a job application.

Avoid Putting the Number in a Form

If you are filling out a job application and it asks for your current salary or salary history, leave it blank or put “negotiable.” Putting a numeric value in the form can potentially limit your ability to negotiate a competitive salary later on.

Deflect or Reframe the Interview Question

If you are asked about your current salary during an interview, deflect the question by saying something like “I am really looking for a fair market rate for this position based on my qualifications and the market value of the job.” You can also reframe the question by saying something like “I am more concerned about the salary range for this position than my current salary. What is the salary range for this role?”

Do Your Research

Before going into an interview, do your research on the salary range for the position in that particular industry and location. This will help you have an idea of what a fair market rate would be for the position and can give you leverage in negotiating a higher salary.

Know Your Worth

Make sure you know your worth and what you bring to the table. Think about your qualifications and experience and how that makes you a strong candidate for the position.

Knowing your worth can help you negotiate for a higher salary and ensure that you are paid the fair market rate for the position. Share Your Salary (If It’ll Help You)

If you feel that your current salary is higher than the fair market rate for the position, sharing your salary can potentially help you negotiate for a higher salary.

However, this strategy should only be used if your current salary is higher than the fair market rate for the position.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the salary history ban is a growing movement aimed at preventing pay inequity by ensuring that all candidates are paid based on the market value of the position and their qualifications. While the ban has not been implemented in every state and city in the U.S., candidates can take steps to avoid putting their current salary on job applications and deflect or reframe interview questions.

By knowing their worth and doing research on salary ranges, candidates can negotiate for a competitive salary and ensure that they are paid the fair market rate for the position.

Reporting the Incident

If you feel that a potential employer has violated the salary history provision, it is important to report the incident to the appropriate city or state body. Reporting the incident is crucial in preventing further violations and protecting your rights as a job candidate.

Reporting to Appropriate City or State Body

The first step in reporting a violation of the salary history provision is to file a complaint with the appropriate city or state body. This can usually be done online or by contacting the appropriate government agency directly.

It is important to provide as much information as possible when filing a complaint, including the name of the employer, the position you applied for, and any evidence of the violation, such as a copy of the job application or notes from an interview. Once the complaint has been filed, the government agency will investigate the incident and determine whether a violation has occurred.

If a violation has been found, the employer may be fined or required to comply with the salary history provision.

Pursuing Violations of the Salary History Provision

If you have filed a complaint and the government agency has determined that a violation has occurred, you may have the option to pursue legal action. This can include filing a lawsuit against the employer or contacting a commission that oversees labor practices.

In some cases, pursuing legal action may be the most effective way to hold the employer accountable for the violation and receive compensation for any damages done. It is important to consult with a labor law attorney to determine the best course of action.

In addition to legal action, it is also important to bring attention to the violation by sharing your experience with others, including on social media or websites that specialize in workplace issues. By speaking out, you can help raise awareness of the salary history provision and prevent further violations in the future.

Conclusion

Reporting a violation of the salary history provision is an important step in protecting your rights as a job candidate and preventing pay inequity. By filing a complaint with the appropriate city or state body and pursuing legal action if necessary, you can hold employers accountable for their actions and help create a more fair and equal labor market for all.

In summary, the salary history ban is a growing movement aimed at fighting pay inequity by ensuring that all job candidates are paid based on the market value of the position and their qualifications. If asked about salary history during a job interview or on an application, candidates should avoid putting a numeric value in the form and deflect or reframe interview questions.

It is important to know your worth and do research on salary ranges to negotiate for a competitive salary. If a violation of the salary history provision has occurred, candidates should report the incident to the appropriate city or state body and consider pursuing legal action if necessary.

By taking these steps, we can help prevent pay gaps and promote a more fair and equal labor market for all.

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