A new law taking effect in Hawaii on January 1 prohibits prospective employers from requesting or considering a job applicant’s wage or salary history as part of an employment application process or compensation offer.
The purpose of the law is twofold, namely to:
- Disrupt the cycle of wage inequality for women and minorities by prohibiting prospective employers from requesting or considering a job applicant’s prior wage or salary history in the application process so that they will set compensation offers based on skills and qualifications; and
- Encourage equal pay between men and women by prohibiting enforced wage secrecy and banning retaliation or discrimination against employees who disclose, discuss, or inquire about their own or coworkers’ wages for the purpose of exercising their rights under the law.
Because of the new law, Hawaii employers should update application forms as well as written policies and practices pertaining to recruiting, hiring, or compensation to make sure applicants aren’t asked about their salary history and that it isn’t used in determining pay for a potential hire.
For more information on Hawaii’s salary history law, see the July and November 2018 issues of Hawaii Employment Law Letter.