Understanding the New Massachusetts Equal Pay Law

Our home state of Massachusetts is on the forefront of the movement for equal pay and rights for employees.  Last month the equal pay law was updated to provide clarity on what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination. A key piece of the July 1st update made it unlawful for employers to ask candidates for salary history information.  Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states that have adopted this kind of law.

To help you understand this new law, PS&R has gathered some questions that employers are able to ask, and some you need to avoid.

Employers CANNOT ask:

  • What is your current salary?
  • How much did you make in your last job?
  • How much of your compensation is base salary versus commission?
  • Why do you think this salary is appropriate for you?

Employers CAN ask:

  • What is your salary requirement or expectation?
  • What value would you bring to this job?
  • Did you meet your sales goals in your last position? (but don’t ask about earnings through sales)
  • Is there a type of pay structure you would be most comfortable with?

Remember that job candidates can volunteer pay history information on their own, it just can’t be actively solicited by a recruiter or human resources manager. Don’t forget to eliminate pay history questions from paper or online documents, such as employment applications.

Working with a Massachusetts recruiter like PS&R is an easy way to navigate this new law effectively.

Making the Most of Online Recruiting

Online recruiting is how recruiters and candidates connect using the web.   Job recruiting websites offer an efficient way to share job posts and resumes.  With the use of Skype, Facetime and other video call apps, interviews and meetings can take place anywhere and anytime.  Online recruiting has saved job seekers and hiring agencies both time and money.

One thing to keep in mind is that internet recruiting makes job opportunities more accessible to everyone.  The ease of applying means that any single job post can be flooded with applicants.   A human resource manager or recruitment specialist may see hundreds of resumes per post. This is great news for that recruiter, as they can quickly scan and pluck only the top applicants.  But if you are looking for employment, you want to do what you can to stand out.

Here are some things for job seekers to keep in mind as you navigate the online world of recruiting:

  • Pay attention to detail– Make sure your resume is updated, proof-read, and that it is appropriate for the job you are seeking. If you are sending your resume via email, be sure to use correct grammar and spelling.  Your resume is less likely to be opened if an employer sees errors right away.
  • Network – Check in with your professional network or use LinkedIn to see if you already know someone who works for the company. An internal referral can go a long way.
  • Clean up your social media presence – Don’t be surprised if your Facebook and Twitter accounts are being viewed by hiring managers. Delete incriminating photos and inappropriate posts – these could turn off potential employers.

Find the best recruiting website for you and consider the tips above, and you are one step closer to your next great opportunity!