In an attempt to help close the gender pay gap, New York City has become the first US city to ban employers from asking job applicants about their previous salaries
Awarding salaries based on people’s qualifications and earning potential is far preferable, city officials said as the ruling became law in October.
“Being underpaid once should not condemn one to a lifetime of inequity,” said public advocate Letitia James, who believes that the practice perpetuates a cycle of unfair salaries.
“By banning questions about salary history, we are putting a stop to an employment practice that perpetuates gender wage discrimination and hurts all New Yorkers,” said James.
“We will never close the wage gap unless we continue to enact proactive policies that promote economic justice and equity.”
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The state of California, as well as Massachusetts, Oregon, Philadelphia, and San Francisco have all passed similar, partial laws in the last couple of years. This month, Amazon reportedly banned hiring managers from asking prospective employees about their salary histories.
The US Census Bureau reports that women in the US working full-time are paid 80 per cent of what men are paid. The Washington-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research reports that women in New York state earn 87 cents for every dollar that men earn.
Other US states and cities are likely to pass similar legislation in the coming months, say experts.