We Can’t Ask About Salary?!
California has joined Oregon, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York City as areas with laws banning all employers from asking about pay history.
What led to the establishment of these laws? Evidence continues to illustrate that women and people of color are making less than white male counterparts, even in the presence of the same skills, experience, and job responsibilities. The law is meant to prevent preconceived, unconscious biases by the hiring manager, and instead, focus on the candidate’s qualifications to determine salary.
For employers, this may mean making an offer based on candidate expectations, rather than knowing what the candidate is now earning. Some of our clients are applying this policy to recruiting nationwide. This is a game changer for employers, as well as agents of the employers (us).
For job seekers, as more parts of the US are progressively adopting these regulations, you may find you are no longer asked this question.
How does this affect you as a job seeker and the offer you may receive? It’s still important to be prepared to discuss salary, even if you are within the locations where this law is in place. However, it may be more framed in terms of expectations and what level of compensation it would take for you to transition to a new opportunity. Awareness of the market rate for your position in reference to location could facilitate better negotiations for future opportunities. As always, if you go too high, you can take yourself out of the running, and if you go too low, you may not get your ideal offer. In some instances, it may pay for you to voluntarily disclose your compensation, so that the executive search consultant, or the employer, can ensure that you don’t waste your time (investigating an opportunity that isn’t a fit), and that the offer will be appropriate to provide an incentive to change jobs.
Salary inquiries are becoming more complex as legislation evolves. At BOB, we are staying keenly aware of legal requirements, and will be updating our own policies, procedures, and documentation to reflect these new changes. Please feel free to discuss the changes with your personal contact at BOB.