CITIZEN VOICES® Legal to ask about pay history?
Mar 15, 2019
On Valentine’s Day, the New Hampshire House passed HB 211, which makes it illegal to ask a prospective employee about wage or salary history.
The bill also states that “No employer shall use an employee's prior wage and salary history as a defense to any action alleging wage or salary discrimination under state law.”
HB 211 now heads to the New Hampshire Senate.
A way to stop pay discrimination?
Supporters of HB 211 argue that compensation should be solely based on the knowledge and experience of a job applicant.
This is particularly important if an employee was underpaid in previous jobs due to discrimination.
Supporters also note that inflation-adjusted wages have barely returned to pre-recession levels, and argue that asking about pay history will slow the economic recovery.
Or blindfolding employers?
Opponents of HB 211 argue that salary history is another tool for employers to assess potential employees.
A high salary history may even encourage an employer to offer more compensation than they originally planned.
Opponents also note that New Hampshire’s very low unemployment rate will encourage employers to increase compensation overall in the coming years.
Should employers be allowed to inquire about a job applicant’s salary history?
Responses to this question may be shared with legislators debating this issue. Only responses from people living in New Hampshire would be included in any report to legislators.