Offering Salary History to Employers

Offering Salary History to Employers

Oftentimes, employers may request the salary history of an applicant.

What is a salary history?

Salary history usually presents the past earnings of the employers. Some companies ask for it while applying for the job, while the others ask for it during interview if you are a valid candidate for the job. The salary history is inclusive of job title, name of company and the note of salary and benefits one received from the previous job. Nevertheless, a salary history isn’t the same as salary requirement. The salary requirement is the expectation a candidate has from the job regarding the salary.

Is it legal for the employers to ask?
Depending on the country and state, and occasionally county, certain laws outline the legality to ask these questions.  As per these laws, offering salary history can accentuate salary inequality amongst Applicants. Studies have shown that race, gender, and previous inequalities can be reinforced during the interview process paying some applicants less than others for the same position. The concept of salary history has been banned in counties like New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Nonetheless, the law in Philadelphia is yet to be passed.
Banning salary history has also been enforced by the legislators of California, Oregon, Delaware, Puerto Rico and Massachusetts. New York does not permit the state agencies to collect information about salary history. You should check in your state for the latest laws.
Collecting information about the past salary of the employer has also been banned in Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In Vermont and Massachusetts,  information of the past compensations being asked is no longer allowed during interviews.

What are the exceptions?
There is a limited exceptions for the salary history as listed by the states. As per the Massachusetts law, the employers need to confirm their previous salaries under the following conditions
• If the information has been revealed by the applicant. 

• The employment offer has been made and compensation negotiations are going on.

Even in case of Connecticut law, the information needs to be disclosed only when the applicant has  been unwilling revealed the information. The case is similar with that of the Vermont law. It is more limited for the Vermont law, where only when the compensation negotiation has been made, can the person ask for the salary history.
What about larger entities like Amazon and Google?
The laws have also prohibited Amazon from asking any information regarding their previous salaries. Amazon is one of the largest employers, in the world, currently  and they have included themselves in banning all the questions related to previous salaries. The Amazon spokesperson told in an interview with BuzzFeed that not “asking  for past information regarding the salary will be beneficial for their current as well as future employees.”
Be it directly or indirectly,  recruiters can protect applicants, salary or hourly, from discrimination.  Facebook and Google has also follow suit preventing their hiring managers from asking any information about their previous salary.

How do you provide salary history, if it is legal in your state?
If you have been asked to provide a salary history, you can mention your details without even itemizing the things. You can definitely give out a hint about the amount that you have been receiving. It will offer a flexibility for you in the job offer. If you have the concern of being removed from the position or the salary being too high, you can efficiently offer a range of the salary without mentioning a clear amount in the cover letter.
You can include a different page for the salary history that may come up with your cover letter as well as resume.

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