Are you confused about the myriad of rules and regulations related to salary history bans and pay transparency? 🤔 Don't worry, you aren't alone! Lucky for you, we've scoured the interwebs to put together a handy guide to help you navigate what you can (and can't) talk about when it comes to an applicant's previous pay, and what you must share in terms of salary ranges.

Want a quick hit with the relevant goods (helloooooo TL;DR!)? 💡You got it!

In general, most laws prohibit employers from:

  • seeking, requesting, or asking about salary history;

  • reaching out to current or past employers;

  • considering, using, or relying on salary history as a factor in determining whether to offer employment or what salary to offer; and/or

  • retaliating against applicants who refuse to voluntarily disclose salary history information.

While pay transparency is on the rise - led by states like California, Colorado, New York and Washington - the rules around salary disclosures vary. In some cases, employers are required to share information upon request or after an interview, while in other cases, employers must post at least salary ranges on job openings (some laws additionally require disclosure of other types of compensation and/or benefits).

👉 Click to see a summary by state! 👈


Want to go deeper and drop some knowledge on your colleagues? 🤓 Read on...

A growing number of state and local governments have, or are, enacting laws both limiting what employers can ask about - or even consider - related to an applicants’ salary history and are requiring employers to provide salary ranges on job postings.

Because past pay discrimination was perpetuated (either consciously or subconsciously) when employers made decisions based on prior salary or under the guise of maintaining confidentiality among employees, the laws are meant to reduce pay inequity - especially for women and minorities.

Most state and local salary history bans share the same basic features, but no two laws are the same. If your company operates in multiple places across the country, or even within different parts of a state, it’s important to be cognizant of all the variations. Pay range disclosure is a newer concept, with only a few states / localities having passed legislation to date. However, similar to salary history bans, laws can differ widely in terms of disclosure requirements.

It’s important to note that while states have led the charge in passing laws, the federal government has not enacted a nationwide salary history ban or passed pay transparency legislation. There are some considerations under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, but more finite considerations continue to exist at state and/or local levels.

In just a few years, what started off as a few isolated laws aimed at creatively combating pay inequity has now become a nationwide trend - never mind that the legal landscape is constantly changing. Checking in frequently with your friends in HR is always a good idea.

Click on a link below to review the states (and corresponding counties / cities) that have enacted rules governing the use of salary history and/or pay range disclosure.

*Speaking of legal stuff...We have awesome folks at Compa, but none of us specializes, or is an expert, in employment law. We collected and collated data based on publicly available information, and while we hope it's helpful, recommend using at your own discretion.


Salary History Ban and Pay Transparency Info by State*

*Not all states have legislation in place. Content will be reviewed and revised periodically to capture any additions and/or updates.

**Legislation may differ across the state and/or some cities / counties have additional rules.

+ States that additionally have legislation related to salary range disclosure.


The following sites provide additional resources and information.

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