Banning Salary History Questions

A recent article in a SHRM Talent Bulletin mentioned the fact that some States are passing laws prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary histories. There is currently a bill in Congress to ban this practice nationwide.

The Bulletin mentions that employers should start thinking about the elimination of these questions going forward.

Many feel additional laws will eliminate anything that may influence the decision process. That could not be farther from the truth. You cannot legislate common sense no matter what you do. Rules and regulations have made it almost impossible to help or coach any applicants because of the fear of a complaint or lawsuit. Pretty soon you will just have to grunt questions throughout the interview process.

In our practice, it makes sense to ask these questions depending on the position and the person. Will someone be satisfied making $30,000 when the last job paid $50,000? That is a legitimate concern since an applicant may jump at the first offer at the old salary. The staffing company is then left holding the bag on that decision.

Government efforts are better focused on helping job seekers be prepared through education, job training and making it easy for a business to hire, not putting up roadblocks for business to hop over.

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