Human Resources

Asking candidates for salary history now prohibited

House Bill 1696 amends and strengthens the state’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act. Effective July 28, 2019, employers are prohibited from:

  • Asking an applicant for wage or salary history;
  • Asking an applicant’s current or former employer wage or salary history;
  • Requiring an applicant’s prior wage or salary meet certain criteria, e.g., meet a certain level or threshold.

The law also requires employers to:

  • Provide the minimum wage or salary for the position if asked for by the final candidate after the job offer has been extended;
  • Provide the minimum wage or salary for the employee’s new position, at the employee’s request, once an offer has been extended to an internal candidate for a promotion, demotion or transfer;
  • Provide the minimum wage or salary expectation set by the employer prior to posting the position if no wage scale or salary range exists.

The legislature amended the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act citing that “the long-held practice of inquiring about salary history has contributed to persistent earning inequalities,” and follows a trend among other states to adopt rules and policies prohibiting the use of prior pay information to set compensation for internal and external applicants.

The law does not prohibit asking a candidate’s desired compensation, but the question must not be a veiled attempt to ask for salary history.

Learn more about the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act and find wage and salary setting guidance on the new Pay Equity page of the UWHR Compensation website. In the meantime, your HR Compensation Consultant (for staff employees) or Academic Business Partner (for academic personnel) can provide additional guidance and answer questions.