This article originally appeared May 14 in the Bennington Banner.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Phil Scott has signed into law a bill prohibiting employers from asking about the salary history of prospective employees, a measure intended to break the “pay gap cycle” that traps those who have suffered from lower wages through discrimination. The law takes effect July 1.
“For those who have been held back by their pay history, the legislation opens the door to new opportunities,” Scott said at the signing on Friday. “This will prevent hiring equally skilled or experienced employees at different rates simply because one person was paid more in a previous job. Prior to this bill, low wage workers could be held back from climbing the economic ladder, because they were required to reveal their past wages when applying for this new position.”
The legislation, H.294, prohibits employers from requesting salary history of prospective employees or their current or former employers, requiring the prospective employees’ prior salary history meet minimum or maximum criteria, and determining whether to interview a prospective employee based on their current or past compensation. If the prospective employee voluntarily discloses previous or current compensation in the hiring process, the employer, once they offer the job, can seek to confirm that information. In addition, employers may inquire about salary expectations or requirements, and provide information about the position’s salary and compensation.
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(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)