Work history, background and education credentials are among the top most often-requested bits of information solicited in a job interview. Intertwined with this conversation is usually the inquiry into salary requirements or salary history – which typically sets the tone for the subsequent pay rate accompanying an incoming job offer. However, lawmakers in states across the U.S. are beginning to take notice of the unnecessary influence of a former employer’s salary on a future employer – which could inevitably lead to under-compensation for a worker that may be entitled to a much higher pay grade when compared to the rest of the company. As a result, states beginning with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have introduced legislation to ban the solicitation of this information it the hiring process, which would create a much more equal playing field for candidates hoping to achieve a salary commiserate not only with experience, but with their colleagues.
In an effort to curtail the gender-based wage gap in the United States, Massachusetts has taken the lead by introducing legislation that would, by 2018, prohibit an employer from asking a candidate about his or her current salary. The theory behind this notion is that, with women making $0.79 for every $1.00 earned by a male in her job title, women would always stay 21% behind the salaries of men if their current salary figures are a factor in the overall compensation package offered by a prospective employer. While the measure, known as the Massachusetts Pay Equity Law, makes it illegal for employers to pay men and women differently for the same work, it also would make it illegal to ask a candidate about his or her past salary figures – unless the candidate willingly volunteers the information.
So, how does this measure affect New Yorkers? In 2016, members of the city council introduced a similar bill which would amend the Human Rights laws currently in place. Under the legislation, employers in New York City would be prohibited from asking a job candidate about his or her pay rate. This measure represents the City’s unrelenting efforts to close the wage gap, as recent research reveals that female workers in New York City earn approximately $5.8 billion less than their male counterparts annually.
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To discuss wage discrimination in the workplace, please contact the Law Offices of Yale Pollack, PC today: 516-262-5028.