Salary History Anti-Discrimination Act

Summary: The Salary History Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits employers from asking prospective employees for their salary history because it perpetuates wage discrimination.

This model is based on Connecticut HB 5210. Note that Philadelphia enacted similar legislation in 2017 and Massachusetts enacted such a law in 2016.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Salary History Anti-Discrimination Act.”

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE

(A) FINDINGS—The [legislature/council/commission] finds that:

  1. Despite federal and state laws that ban discrimination in pay in both the public and private sectors, wage differentials persist between women and men and between minorities and non-minorities in the same jobs, and in jobs that require equivalent composites of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.
  2. The existence of such wage differentials depresses wages and living standards; reduces family incomes, contributing to higher poverty rates experienced by female-headed and minority households; prevents the maximum utilization of available labor resources; tends to cause labor disputes, thereby burdening and obstructing commerce; and constitutes an unfair method of competition.
  3. The practice of an employer asking a prospective employee for his or her salary history tends to perpetuate gaps in pay that disproportionately impact females and people of color.
  4. There is no need for employers to know a prospective employee’s salary history in order to negotiate a fair wage; in fact, fairness depends on the job and the skills that the employee brings to the position, and not at all on salary history.
  5. Eliminating discrimination in compensation based on sex, race or national origin would have many positive effects, including providing a solution to problems in the economy created by discriminatory wage differentials; reducing the number of working women and people of color who earn low wages, thereby lowering their incidence of poverty during normal working years and in retirement; and promoting stable families by raising family incomes.

(B) PURPOSE—It is the purpose of this Act to help correct wage discrimination based on sex, race or national origin.

SECTION 3. SALARY HISTORY ANTI-DISCRIMINATION

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted [in the current wage discrimination statute]:

(a) No employer shall inquire about a prospective employee’s wage or salary history before an offer of employment with compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee, unless a prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed such information.

(b) In any action alleging wage or salary discrimination under [an existing fair pay law, if such exists], an employer shall not use an employee’s prior wage and salary history as a defense to such action.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This Act shall take effect on July 1, 20XX.

 

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