Like Ban-the-Box initiatives in cities and states throughout the country, fair pay legislation and subsequent salary history bans are sweeping the nation. In a recent blog Philadelphia Clarifies Ordinance Banning Salary History Questions, we highlighted clarifications surrounding the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance signed by Mayor Jim Kenney in January of this year. However, as we near the end of the year, employers should ensure their screening programs are up-to-date.
Currently, there are more than five jurisdictions/states that have banned, or will soon ban salary history inquiries. A brief overview of some of these laws and their effective 2017 dates can be found below.
• Puerto Rico: On March 8, 2017, Puerto Rico enacted Act 16 in an attempt to close the salary gap between men and women. The act prohibits pay discrimination for comparable jobs/duties performed under similar conditions. However, according to Littler, there are exceptions including: (1) bona fide seniority or merit-based systems; (2) compensation based on quantity or quality of production, sales or profits; (3) differing levels of education, training or experience to the extent these factors are reasonably related to the specific job; and (4) any other reasonable factor that is not related to the person’s sex. Effective Date: March 8, 2017
• Oregon: Under the Oregon Equal Pay Act (H.B. 2005), employers cannot discriminate between employees on the basis of a protected class. Additionally, employers may not ask candidates questions about current salary, base a new hire’s pay on past salary, or cut a current employee’s pay as a result of the Act. Effective Date: October 6, 2017
• New York City: On May 4, 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed a bill into law making it unlawful for employers to inquire about a candidate’s salary history. Key takeaways from the law are: (1) Employers may not inquire about salary history, (2) Salary history, even if disclosed, may not be used to determine a salary offer, (3) All information pertaining to salary history must voluntarily be provided by the candidate. Penalties and fines up to $250,000 may be assessed should this law be broken. Effective Date: October 31, 2017
• Delaware: Delaware’s law was signed on June 14, 2017. According to the Delaware government’s website, the law makes it unlawful to “screen applicants based on their compensation histories, including by requiring that an applicant’s prior compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria” or “seek the compensation history of an applicant from the applicant or a current or former employer.” Effective Date: December 14, 2017
Violations of these laws may result in penalties and fines. Employers are encouraged to consult legal counsel when reviewing hiring policies and employment screening programs to ensure regulatory compliance.
For more information about how these laws may affect your organization’s screening program, or AccuSource’s employment screening solutions, contact AccuSource today or reach us by phone at 888-649-6272.