Some believe that the salary history question runs the risk of perpetuating lower pay for those who have traditionally been paid lower, such as women, contributing to ongoing pay inequity or a pay gap. The thinking goes that if people have been routinely discriminated against because of gender, race or some other factor, their pay may be lower than the market value for the position. So, asking people their pay history as a means of determining a fair future pay offer may not actually be fair at all.
As a result, a number of cities and states have developed or are developing legislation around the salary history question, taking it off the approved list of questions during the recruitment process. While employees are jumping for joy (and money), some companies are less enthusiastic about the prohibition of the question. But just how prevalent is the salary history question? And what is the impact, to individuals and organizations, of asking about prior pay?
At PayScale, we believe there are better ways to talk about pay than to use the salary history question. We’ll explore that notion and the associated questions in this whitepaper.
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