Technologists and Salary History Bans: Understanding Your Rights

As an in-demand technologist, do you know your rights when interviewing for your next career move? Salary history bans are sweeping across the nation, forcing employers to modify how they recruit and requiring candidates like you to stay up-to-date on the latest laws. Here in Boston, we’re helping professionals navigate those waters, but it’s a topic that could quickly affect technologists everywhere.

Where Have Salary History Bans Been Passed?

Currently, 21 states, counties, and cities have passed a salary history ban. Most of these locations already have it in place right now, while others have it taking effect in the near future:

States:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
  • Vermont

Cities:

  • San Francisco
  • Chicago
  • Louisville
  • New Orleans
  • Kansas City
  • New York City
  • Albany County
  • Westchester County
  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh

 

How Do the Laws Differ?

Not every salary history ban is exactly the same. Some allow employers to consider salary history if you volunteer it, while others don’t. Certain bans require employers to give you pay scale information if requested, or allow them to ask about history only after extending an offer. For some locations, bans don’t apply when seeking an internal position in your current company. Still others prohibit an employer from seeking out your salary history from public information or from taking disciplinary action if you talk about your salary with coworkers.

There are many nuances to these laws, so it’s important to get educated on the ones that affect you. In Massachusetts for example, “wages” or “salaries” are defined in broad terms, encompassing “all forms of remuneration for employment.” While most bans will use a similar definition, technologists must think about what their past compensation entailed before getting too deep into the interview process.

How Can I Protect Myself?

Salary history ban laws raise a number of situations where you’ll want to take extra care in order to protect your rights:

They Ask Anyway

If a potential employer breaks the law and ask about salary history, use it as an opportunity to turn the question around with something like “Massachusetts law prohibits that question, but let’s talk about career paths that stem from this role instead.” While you can also file a legal complaint, take the time to consider if it was an honest mistake. Did the hiring manager accidentally fall into a habit after decades of asking that question in interviews? Was this employer ignorant of the law, or did they break it knowingly? Is that someone you would want to work for anyway?

Salary Expectations

With bans in place, employers may ask about your salary expectations instead of your history. For that reason, it’s a best practice to come prepared with a rough idea of what a technologist typically makes in the role. There are many avenues for discovering this information, including talking to friends, chatting with industry peers in meetup groups, researching online, picking the brain of your career mentor, or downloading a trusted resource such as our 2019 Technology Salary Guide.

Location, Location, Location

When applying for a job in another city or state, you should know the law in that locale. For example, if your job interview takes place in NYC but the job at stake is in a different location without a salary history ban, then the NYC salary history ban still applies to you. Likewise, if you live outside of NYC but are applying for a job based in NYC, the law applies again. In the age of video interviews and remote work, it’s necessary to look up the law where you live and where the interview, company, and job are located.

Make It Easy on Yourself

Salary history bans affect many industries, but when it comes to in-demand roles in hot fields like technology, big dollar figures are at play. There are so many factors going into compensation that, along with the slight differences between each ban, it can be confusing to deal with it all on your own. Getting educated will help, but partnering with a proven staffing firm like BridgeView IT is often the easiest way to land great technology roles at healthy compensation rates.

Let BridgeView IT be your personal career guide. View our open roles today.

 

Related Articles

The 2019 Technology Salary Guide You’ve Been Looking For

BVI Boston helps out at Career Collaborative

Insider Tips on Counteroffers

Related

Archived Posts

10 Ways to Win the Fight for Happy at Work

Whether it is just the daily grind or a career that is less than your passion, workplace happiness doesn’t always flow naturally. The true masters of the workplace can find happiness amongst it all. So here are 10 easy tips for staying happy at work.

Career Advice, Hiring Advice, Insights

Search Without Being Found

It is common to be employed while hunting for a new job, especially if you are looking to advance your career. Here are several strategies that you can use to avoid alerting your boss or other people in the department:

Career Advice, Insights

An Effective Elevator Speech Opens the Doors to New Career Opportunities

When you are looking for a new job, networking is a critical step to help you connect with other people in the industry. You’ve probably heard the saying that you only get a single opportunity to make a good first impression, and networking with an effective elevator speech can make-or-break your job hunting efforts.

Career Advice, Insights

Your Resume has these 4 Must-Haves, Right?

Modern technology has made it easier to apply to many jobs without much effort, which means that employers and recruiters are inundated with resumes when a job opening is posted. If you want the job, then you need to make sure that your resume outshines the rest.

Career Advice, Insights

Quitting Your Job? 5 Considerations Before Deciding

LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Google+ Are you frustrated with your job and you are ready to...

Career Advice

The 5 Questions To Ask In A Job Interview

When you ask questions at the close of your job interview you show the interviewer you were listening. You convey your interest in the company and showcase what a good fit to the team you would be. Your questions garner insight into how you would fit into a specific role and where you would devote your energy. Questions are critical to the success of your interview.

Insights

You Said What? 7 Things to Never Say During a Job Interview

One sentence. That’s all it takes to derail your chances at the dream job you’ve been pining after for months – maybe even years. Employers focus on why they should hire you, but they’re also looking for reasons not to hire you. Read on to find out seven things you need to keep in the vault while interviewing.

Career Advice

Send Resume
Share This