New Law Makes It Unlawful For Employers To Ask About Pay History

On July 25, 2019, acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed A1094 into law prohibiting employers from inquiring about worker’s wage and salary history. The new law makes it unlawful for any employer to screen a job applicant based on the applicant’s wage or salary history, including by requiring the applicant’s prior wages, salaries or benefits to satisfy any minimum or maximum criteria, or to rely on the applicant’s salary history in determining a salary amount.

The new law further makes it unlawful to inquire about the salary history of a job applicant including the applicant’s compensation and benefits. However, an employer may verify an applicant’s salary history if the applicant voluntarily, without coercion, provides the employer with written authority to do so. An applicant’s refusal to volunteer compensation information cannot be considered in any employment decisions.

Any employer who violates this law will be subject to civil penalties of no more than $1,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for any subsequent violations.
Sponsors of the bill said the new law is aimed at closing the wage gap between women and men and meant to ensure that employees receive salaries that are commensurate with their skills, qualifications and experience.

The law is effective immediately.

In light of this new law, employers should immediately revise their job applications to remove questions seeking pay history. Individuals involved in the recruiting and hiring process should also be trained to ensure compliance with the Act. For any questions about this new law or assistance with revising policies, contact the employment lawyers of Brown & Connery, LLP.