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How Will the Gender Pay Equity Movement Impact Salary History Questions?

Women in the United States who work full time are only paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. Unfortunately, the wage gap leads to more than $10,000 per year in lost earnings for women.

Although the Equal Pay Act has been around for decades, it needs to be updated and improved. The Gender Pay Equity Movement has been in the spotlight recently and may impact salary history questions. Let’s take a closer look at Chane Solutions insight on this topic.

In the past, most employers asked job candidates to share their salary history. Employers use salary history to determine a candidate’s worth to others and figure out whether they can pay them an amount you’d be likely to accept. Unfortunately, asking about salary history sustains the wage gap and allows women to make less than men for performing the same work.

Today, Massachusetts, California, New York City and Chicago, as well as companies such as Amazon, Google, and Starbucks have stopped asking about salary history as a result of the gender pay equity movement. These cities, states, and companies have done this because they believe employees should be paid based on the work they’ll be performing in their new position. Their market value and the company’s finances should dictate their pay, rather than what they were making in their previous jobs.

If employees are applying for a position and get asked their salary history, there are several strategies they can take including:

  • Typing that they look forward to discussing compensation once they’ve learned more about the position. This is a good strategy if a salary history question is found in an email or a computer-based form.
  • Stating that their previous employer considers their salary confidential or sharing a salary amount they believe is fair based on their research. This strategy is ideal for handling the salary question in an in-person interview.
  • Explaining that their previous salary was below market value so based on their skills, experience, and research, they are seeking a salary of X amount. This is recommended if the employer is persistent in finding out salary history.

As time goes on, it’s likely that more and more cities, states, and companies will ban asking job candidates about their salary history. However, until this is a more common practice, it’s best for employees to use the strategies listed above.

Contact Chane Solutions to Learn More About Gender Pay Equity Movement

If you’d like more information on the gender pay equity movement and how it has impacted salary history questions, contact Chane Solutions, a quality employment screening, and drug testing provider today.  


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