April 24, 2017 Pereless

Pending State Legislation Could Restrict Job Application Questions

New legislation affecting specific U.S. states could remove “the salary question” on job applications as early as the fall of 2017.

Updated: 5/23/17

In 2016, The Pay Equity For All Act of 2016 was introduced to Congress to make it illegal (on the federal level) for employers to ask job candidates to disclose current or previous compensation.  If the bill becomes law, the US Department of Labor (DOL) would enforce regulations for the entire nation with the power to cite violators up to $10,000 in fines.  Currently as of this writing, the bill is pending Congressional review and approval.  However, on the local level, Massachusetts and cities like New York City have officially signed similar legislation into law.

  • New York City, NY: The New York City Council passed a bill banning employers from asking job applicants about salary history.  Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed the legislation into law in this month.  (Set to go into effect November, 2017).
  • Massachusetts: State-wide law banning compensation history questions to go into effect July 1st, 2018.
  • Philadelphia, PA: Current legislation was set to go into effect this month, however is currently facing legal challenges from the city’s Chamber of Commerce and is expected to be further delayed.
  • Other states: In 2016, 36 states introduced at least one bill that mirrors the federal legislation.

Massachusetts and NYC are leading the way for changes that may soon become more of a reality for local businesses.  Without legal challenge, job applications in both areas must reflect the new rules dictated in the local law or employers will risk hefty fines and lawsuits.    Time will soon tell if other states will follow suit or be stopped by legal – stay tuned!