States with Salary History Bans
States with Salary History Bans

States with Salary History Bans

Requesting job applicants’ salary histories has been a pretty common practice for employers over the years. Recruiters and hiring managers often use this knowledge to exclude people from the candidate pool, either because the applicant is “too expensive” or their previous salary is so low, hiring managers think the person is poorly qualified or inexperienced.

Businesses have also used previous salary information to calculate new hire compensation—a process that can perpetuate pay disparity between women and men. To address this inequality, several states and municipalities have enacted bans on asking for previous salary information, although laws vary in terms, scope and applicability.

states with salary history bans

The states and territories that have enacted salary history bans include:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio, Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
State  Municipality  Employers Affected  Law 
Alabama    All  Employers can’t decline hiring, interviewing, promoting or employing an applicant if they refuse to provide their pay history. 
California  All  Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history. If they already have the information or the applicant volunteers it, that information can’t be used to determine pay. Employers are also required to provide pay scale information if an applicant asks. 
California  San Francisco  All (incl. contractors and subcontractors)   Employers can’t ask for or use an applicant’s compensation when setting pay. Employers also can’t disclose a current or former employee’s salary without their consent. 
Colorado
(eff. 1/21/)
 
  All  Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history. They also can’t use pay history to set salaries. They can’t discriminate or retaliate against a candidate who doesn’t disclose their pay history. 
Connecticut    All  Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history, unless the applicant voluntarily disclosed the information.  
Delaware    All  Employers can’t screen applicants based on past salary and they can’t ask about salary history. They can verify salary after extending an offer. 
District of Columbia    Government agencies  Government agencies can’t ask applicants for their salary history unless it’s brought up by the candidate after an employment offer is extended. 
Georgia  Atlanta  City agencies  The city can no longer ask for pay history on its applications, in interviews or employment screenings. 
Hawaii    All (incl. employment agencies)  Employers can’t ask about salary history. They also can’t use that information unless the applicant volunteers it. The law doesn’t apply to internal applicants. 
Illinois    State agencies   The state can’t ask applicants about salary history. 
Illinois    All   Employers can’t ask about salary history including benefits or other compensation but they can discuss the applicant’s pay expectations. 
Illinois  Chicago   City departments  City departments can’t ask for salary history. 
Kentucky  Louisville  Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government offices and agencies  City offices can’t ask for an applicant’s salary history. 
Louisiana  New Orleans   City departments  City offices can’t ask for an applicant’s salary history. Applicants can provide pay history to negotiate a higher salary after an offer is made. 
Maine    All  Employers can’t ask for an applicant’s pay history until a job has been offered. 
Maryland  Montgomery County    The county can’t use salary history to decide whether to hire an applicant. They also can’t retaliate against or decline to hire a person who refuses to share their salary history. The county can use salary history to offer a higher salary than initially offered as long as this doesn’t result in unequal pay for equal work and the information was voluntarily disclosed. 
Massachusetts    All   Employers can’t ask for salary history. They can confirm history if the applicant volunteers or if they’ve extended an offer. 
Michigan    Private employers  Michigan has banned salary history bans.  
Michigan    State departments  State offices can’t ask an applicant about their salary history until a conditional employment offer is made. They also can’t ask current or prior employers or search public records to get that information. If salary is already known, it can’t be used to make a hiring decision.. 
Mississippi  Jackson  City offices  City offices can’t ask for salary history.  
Missouri    All  Employers can’t ask for or use salary history when offering employment or determining salary, benefits or other compensation. They can discuss the applicant’s pay expectations. Prohibitions don’t apply to information disclosed by the applicant.  
Missouri  Kansas City  City offices  City offices can’t ask for pay history until the person has been hired. 
New Jersey    State offices  State offices can’t ask applicants for salary history or investigate prior salaries of applicants. 
New York    All state agencies and departments (except Port Authority)   State offices can’t request salary history until after an employment offer is made. If previous compensation is already known, it can’t be used to determine an applicant’s salary. 
New York    Private employers   Employers can’t ask for salary history. An employer can confirm salary if the applicant gives a pay history to support a higher salary when a job is offered. 
New York  New York City  All   Employers can’t ask about previous pay or benefits. If they already have that information, they’re can’t use it to set pay. 
New York  Albany County  All   Employers can’t request past compensation information until after a job offer is made. 
New York  Suffolk County  All   Employers can’t request past compensation information. They can’t search public records or use known salary information to set pay. 
New York  Westchester County  All   Employers can’t request past compensation information. They can confirm past pay and use that information in setting pay in certain circumstances. 
North Carolina    State agencies   State agencies can’t request salary history and can’t use previously obtained salary information to set pay. 
Ohio
(eff. 3/20)
 
Cincinnati 

State and local governments are excluded, with the exception of Cincinnati  
Employers can’t ask for salary history or use known salaries. They’re also required to provide a pay scale for a position if the applicant has received an employment offer. 
Ohio  Toledo  Employers with 15 or more employees located in the city  Employers can’t ask for pay history. They also can’t require an applicant’s compensation to satisfy minimum or maximum criteria. They can discuss an applicants’ pay expectations. 
Oregon    All  Employers can’t ask about pay history until an employment offer has been made. They’re also prohibited from using previous salary information to set pay, except for existing employees moving to a new role. 
Pennsylvania    State agencies  State agencies can’t ask about current compensation or compensation history. Additionally all job postings have to clearly disclose a position’s pay scale and range. 
Pennsylvania  Pittsburgh  City offices and agencies  City employers can’t ask about prior pay. If they discover the information, they’re prohibited from using it unless the applicant has volunteered it. 
Puerto Rico    All  Employers can’t request pay histories, but voluntary salary disclosures made after a job offer has been extended are allowed. 
South Carolina  Columbia  City agencies  The city can’t use pay history unless the applicant voluntarily provides the information.  
South Carolina  Richland County  County offices  Richland County has deleted the salary history question from its applications, interviews and employment screenings. 
Utah  Salt Lake City  City offices  City offices can’t ask an applicant about their salary history. If the applicant voluntarily provides the information, it can’t be used to determine current salary. 
Vermont    All  Employers can’t request pay histories. If the information is volunteered, they can only confirm after making a job offer. 
Washington    All  Employers can’t ask for pay history. They can confirm voluntarily disclosed information before or after an offer has been extended.

Businesses with 15 or more employees must provide the minimum salary for the position upon applicant request and after an offer has been extended.  
Wisconsin    All  Wisconsin has banned salary history bans. 

Are you at risk for penalties?
Find out with our HR Compliance audit.

More to Discover

How to Pay 1099 Employees

How to Pay 1099 Employees

As the gig economy grows more employers are looking to hire independent contractors (aka 1099 workers). But since paying independent contractors isn’t a walk in the park, many employers are looking for step-by-step instructions. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know: How Do I Pay a 1099 Worker? This subject is something you will need to discuss in detail with the person you’re hiring for the job. Often, they will have a written contract that stipulates how and when they should be paid. The two most common methods of payment are hourly and by the job or project. Some independent contractors — such as attorneys — prefer to be paid on retainer, which means you pay them a lump sum at the beginning of each month in return for a...

Case Study: Buy Sod

Case Study: Buy Sod

Buy Sod Inc. Partners with Paycor to Pay Employees & Maintain Tax Compliance “Because we’re a niche company, our administrators sometimes have trouble uncovering and implementing best practices. But when we partnered with Paycor they brought the expertise and thought leadership to help us overcome tough challenges like the new EEO-1 report. Paycor has the patience, knowledge and resources to help us stay ahead of problems and grow.” - Jennifer Hillard, Director of People and Culture Why Buy Sod Inc. Chose Paycor In 2002, three family businesses came together to create a network of sod farms that operate and distribute around the country. But with ten locations and eighteen different payrolls to process, Buy Sod Inc. struggled to...

Webinar: Compliance in 2020: What You Need to Know

Webinar: Compliance in 2020: What You Need to Know

A new year brings new compliance issues employers should be monitoring at the federal, state and local levels. To help your organization prepare for what’s ahead, our compliance team will outline key changes in 2020 and trends in the areas of payroll, tax and HR compliance.Speakers: Arlene Baker and James SchwantesArlene Baker is a Senior Compliance Analyst with over 40 years of payroll and tax experience. She’s a member of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium focusing on IRS compliance, and she’s been a member of the national and local APA for 25 years. In 2003, Arlene was awarded the Ohio Payroll Professional of the Year award. James Schwantes is a Compliance Analyst with a legal and tax background. Prior to working at Paycor in...

Webinar: Data Security: Does Your HR & Payroll Provider Stack Up?

Webinar: Data Security: Does Your HR & Payroll Provider Stack Up?

You’ve probably seen the recent news about data security scandals that have impacted the payroll and HR industry. Are you confident your provider is taking the necessary steps to protect your company’s information?Learn how your business can protect itself, the questions you need to ask your provider and more. Speaker: Adam Leisring Adam Leisring is Paycor’s Senior Director of Information Security and is accountable for security aspects in Paycor’s Corporate IT and SaaS offerings. Having spent over 11 years with the organization and with a background in Information Security, Enterprise Architecture, Infrastructure, and Software Engineering, he brings a breadth of experience and perspective to the role.