One of the most awkward parts of the job-interview process could soon be a thing of the past. In recent years, many states and cities have enacted laws that ban employers from asking applicants how much they made in previous jobs. It's a trend that could help older workers.
In the past four years, 18 states have prohibited some employers from asking job candidates about their salary history, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), an advocacy group for women and girls. Several other states are considering enacting bans. And some cities and communities without state laws, including Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City, restrict some employers from asking.
These prohibitions started as a way to fight the biases that can lead to women and racial minorities being underpaid, even as they advance in their careers. But the policies can help everyone, according to Kate Nielson, public policy director for the AAUW.
States that ban employers from asking about your salary history
"At the most basic level, what you made previously has nothing to do with what you're going to make in your future job or your ability to do the work,” she says. “Salaries should be based upon the current job — not a previous job — what a current job entails, what the skill set is. There are much better ways to figure out what and how to pay somebody."