Make Asking about Past Salary History a Thing of the Past

One of JWFNY’s goals is to create economic justice and financial stability for women. Our grants alone cannot make this goal a reality, so we advocate for policies that will help us achieve our vision. Earlier this year, JWFNY supported pay equity legislation in New York City that banned prospective employers from requesting salary history from job applicants. This legislation passed, making New York City join Massachusetts and Philadelphia as the places with this law on the books.

The same legislation to ban requesting salary history from job applicants is currently pending in New York State. (Similar legislation is also pending in 23 other states!) The New York State bill would build on the passage of the JWFNY supported New York Women’s Equality Act, and will help ensure that workers in New York receive fair wages.

Here are a few ways asking about past salary history perpetuates the wage gap:

  • By using a person’s salary history to evaluate their suitability for a position or to set their salary, new employers allow past discrimination to drive hiring and pay decisions.
  • Women are more likely to have worked in lower-paid, female-dominated professions that pay low wages simply because women are the majority of workers in the occupation.
  • Asking about salary history harms women seeking to reenter the workforce, since their last salary may no longer reflect current market conditions or their current qualifications.

If you would like to support the passage of the salary history bill at the New York State level, tell your representatives to ban salary history in New York.

To learn more about how requesting past salary history from job applicants negatively impacts the wage gap read National Women’s Law Center’s Fact Sheet, Asking for Salary History Perpetuates Pay Discrimination from Job to Job.

Photos courtesy of PowHerNY


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