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Guide to State Pay Transparency Laws for Employers Part 2

As pay transparency laws become increasingly common across the United States, employers must understand their obligations. These laws promote pay transparency, foster equity in salary practices, and reduce salary disparities between genders, races, and other categories. The range of regulations varies by state; this is part two of our two-series blog post. We cover the remaining states with statewide pay transparency laws, what those laws entail, who is affected, and what employers need to know.

Click here to read part one of our pay transparency series!

Nevada

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: SB293 went into effect in 2021.
  • Requirements: Employers cannot ask applicants about their pay history and may not discriminate against those who do not provide such information. Employers must supply a wage or salary range to interviewees for positions and give the wage or salary range in some cases of an internal promotion or transfer. However, employers can inquire about an applicant’s desired pay expectations.
  • Employers Affected: All employers and employment agencies.

New Jersey

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1 went into effect in 2018.
  • Requirements: State entities are prohibited from inquiring about current or previous salary history unless an offer of employment has been made. State entities can request and verify an applicant’s current or prior compensation if the applicant volunteers this information or if required by federal, state, or local law. An applicant’s compensation history cannot be considered in any employment decisions.
  • Employers Affected: State entities.

New York

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: Local Law 67 went into effect in 2017, and Senate Bill S6549 went into effect in 2020 regarding inquiries into salary history.
  • Requirements: Employers may not inquire into the salary history of applicants or employees.
  • If an employer wishes to confirm an applicant or employee’s pay history, they may only do so if the individual volunteers this information in response to an offer of employment that includes a wage or salary higher than the employer originally offered.
  • Employers Affected: All employers.

New York City, Ithaca, & Westchester County, New York

  • Location: New York State Localities
  • Law: Amendment to the New York City Human Rights law into effect in late 2022 regarding salary transparency.
  • Requirements: Employers in New York State localities with four or more employees must include the minimum and maximum salary or hourly wage for each job, promotion, and opportunity transfer in all job postings.
  • Exemptions:
    • In New York City: Jobs that will not or cannot be performed in the city.
    • Ithaca: ads for temporary jobs at temporary agencies.
    • Westchester County: Any job done, wholly or partly, in the county – even if it can be done remotely, office-based, OR field work – falls under this rule. The only exception is advertisements for temporary jobs with companies like “Help Wanted” or businesses with similar signs posted up.

North Carolina

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: Executive Order 93 went into effect in 2019.
  • Requirements: State agencies may not request salary history from applicants or rely on this information when setting compensation.
  • Employers Affected: State Agencies

Oregon

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017 was enacted in 2017.
  • Requirements: Employers may not inquire into an applicant’s salary history until after an offer of employment has been made and may not use prior salary history to set pay unless applicants are current employees moving into a new position at the current employer.
  • Employers Affected: Employers with one or more employees.

Pennsylvania

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: Executive Order: 2018-18-03 – Equal Pay for Employees of the Commonwealth went into effect in 2018.
  • Requirements: State agencies may not inquire about an applicant’s current or past salary history during the hiring process, and all job advertisements must disclose the pay scale and range.
  • Employers Affected: State Agencies.

Rhode Island

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: S 0270 SUBSTITUTE Agoes into effect in 2023.
  • Requirements: Employers may not inquire into salary history or use this information when considering an applicant for employment and pay. Employers must provide a pay range for positions.
  • Employers Affected: All employers.

Vermont

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: 294 (Act 126) went into effect in 2018.
  • Requirements: Employers may not inquire into an applicant’s pay history. However, they may confirm this information after an offer has been made and if the applicant voluntarily discloses the information.
  • Employers Affected: All employers.

Virginia

  • Type: Salary History Ban
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: HB 416, effective 2022.
  • Requirements: Salary history questions may not be included in applications.
  • Employers Affected: All employers.

Washington

  • Type: Salary History Ban and Salary Transparency
  • Location: Statewide
  • Law: HB 1696 effective 2019.
  • Requirements: Employers may not inquire into salary history but can confirm this information if voluntarily disclosed by the applicant or after an offer has been made. Employers with 15 or more employees must provide the minimum salary for the position if requested by the applicant and after the offer has been made.
  • Employers Affected: All employers.

States That Have Prohibited Salary History Bans

  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin

States with no pay transparency laws

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

What Employers Need to Know

Employers need to familiarize themselves with their respective state’s current pay transparency policy before implementing any type of disclosure rules within their organization. Employers should also ensure they comply with federal anti-discrimination regulations regarding employee compensation decisions and consider conducting an internal audit of current employee compensation practices if needed. Finally, organizations should establish clear communication protocols so that employees know which types of conversations are appropriate when discussing salary information internally amongst colleagues or externally with job applicants or recruiters.

Conclusion:

Pay transparency laws are becoming increasingly common across the United States to promote pay transparency, foster equity in salary practices, and reduce salary disparities between genders, races, and other categories. It is essential for businesses operating in states with these types of regulations to understand what they entail and take steps necessary to remain compliant —or risk facing serious financial penalties or lawsuits designed to protect workers’ rights. By taking proactive measures now, employers can avoid costly legal issues down the road.

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Disclaimer

This information is purely for educational purposes and is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel for any questions related to your business practices and policies related to applicable laws.