Kansas City Approves Salary-History Ban

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer June 20, 2019

​Kansas City, Mo.

​The Kansas City, Mo., City Council unanimously passed an ordinance effective Oct. 31 that bans private employers with six or more employees from asking job applicants about their salary history.

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

Kansas City Takes on Gender Pay Gap

The ordinance prohibits employers from requesting salary-history information, relying upon it or discriminating against job applicants who do not provide it. Salary history includes current or prior wages, benefits or other compensation. The ban applies to all conversations between employers and applicants and includes searches of public records. Violations will be punishable by a fine of as much as $500 or up to 180 days in jail.

(The Kansas City Star)

Employers Split on Asking About Salary History

For a long time, employers have used wage history to set the compensation for new hires. However, requiring the disclosure of prior wages can cause many applicants, both men and women, to feel stuck with a capped earning capacity.

(SHRM Online)

Salary-History Bans Could Reshape Pay Negotiations

Salary-history bans appear to be changing HR's long-standing practice of asking candidates about past pay. Whether you work in a jurisdiction prohibiting the question or not, it may be time to revisit your hiring practices and compensation strategies—relying more on market data to set pay, focusing on a candidate's qualifications or instituting new nationwide policies.

(SHRM Online)

Salary-History Bans Spreading

Kansas City is not the first to enact a salary-history ban. In the last several years, many other states and municipalities have enacted similar bans, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. For HR professionals and hiring managers, this growing patchwork of laws requires vigilance and training so that everyone involved knows what they can and cannot ask a job candidate.

(SHRM Online)

House Approves Paycheck Fairness Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act on March 27. If the bill is ultimately signed into law, it would prohibit employers nationwide from asking job applicants about their salary history and require them to prove that pay disparities between men and women are job-related.

(SHRM Online)



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