San Francisco Outlaws Inquiries About Previous Salary History

Giving Applicants a Fighting Chance for Fair Salary

When getting further along in the hiring process, there is always that conversation about salary. Most new positions are sought after because of the opportunity for an increased salary, but employers will often bring up salary history as a bargaining chip in this negotiation. In many instances, they can get away with starting a new employee lower than usual, having known that it’s already a large jump in salary from their previous position.

This hardly seems fair, and not only can it be used to save the company some money in less-than-honest ways, but it is often used as a defense for unequally paying an employee of the female sex or of color. Employers are able to argue that in comparison to other positions, their new salary is fair, even if it is lower than a male’s salary in the same position and with the same qualifications. This concerns is the main one behind the passing of this new ordinance.

Beginning July 1st 2018, it will no longer be legal in the jurisdiction of San Francisco for an employer to inquire about salary history. Known as the “Parity in Pay Ordinance,” is has already been adopted by several states and cities, including Oregon, Massachusetts, and New York City.

Of course, a high salary history can be used as an advantage for a potential employee in the hiring process, and therefore something you as an applicant may want to disclose in efforts to argue for an increase or at least the maintenance of that same value. The ordinance protects this. You may voluntarily disclose your salary history, but they may not ask for it. This still gives you an upper hand.

If you feel as though your salary history is being used against you or as a means to justify unequal pay, you may be the victim of workplace discrimination. Call a Harvard employment law attorney today to put an end to it.