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.