Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On March 13, 2019, Cincinnati, Ohio passed Ordinance No 0083-2019 that will make asking job applicants about their salary history or current earnings an illegal discriminatory practice for a company in the city. The salary history ban will take effect one year from the date of the ordinance.
Cincinnati Salary History Ban
The ordinance – which adds Chapter 804 “Prohibited Salary History Inquiry and Use” to the Cincinnati Municipal Code – also prohibits Cincinnati employers from screening applicants based on wages, relying on salary history in hiring decisions, or refusing to hire an applicant who does not provide salary history.
In addition, the ordinance will ensure that job applicants in Cincinnati are offered employment and compensation based on job responsibilities and level of experience rather than on salary history to avoid perpetuating existing “Equal Pay” discrimination against women in the workforce.
The prohibition on salary history will not apply to employers adhering to federal, state, or local law that authorizes reliance on salary history to determine employee compensation, applicants for internal transfer or promotion, and voluntary disclosures of salary history by applicants, among other things.
Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau show women earned 80 percent of what men earned in 2015 and this gender pay gap has narrowed by less than one-half a penny per year in the U.S. since the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was passed by Congress in 1963, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.
In addition to Cincinnati, salary history bans exist in the cities of Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and San Francisco, California. Several counties have passed similar bans.
Laws involving salary history bans also exist in states such as California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan (which prohibits salary history bans in the state), New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin (where local governments may not ban salary history).
Salary history bans will increase as the equal pay movement spreads to narrow the gender wage gap between men and women and this trend was chosen by leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) as one of the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” in 2019.
“If new pay is based on previous pay, then gender pay gaps are perpetuated. The goal of such laws is to base compensation on the work performed and not on reliance on previous pay that may reflect gender discrimination,” said ESR founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Attorney Lester Rosen.
“When an employer has a background screening firm perform past employment verifications, it is critical that firm knows which states and cities prohibit such questions as well as software that facilitates compliance or else that employer could be fined,” explained Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’
ESR Employment Verifications Comply with Salary History Laws
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm – offers employment verifications that provide the applicant’s rate of pay only if permissible under state and local salary history laws. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Verifications-References/.
NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.
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