Tips to Help Employers and Candidates Navigate Wage Laws in the Hiring Process

Strategies to help navigate wage laws in the hiring process.
The wage gap between men and women in the workplace was the catalyst for business owners and lawmakers alike to implement policies that guard against unconscious biases through initiatives such as the Equal Pay Act and Can’t Ask Salary laws.

While these protections provide a good baseline, the following strategies can serve as a helpful guide for adhering to wage laws, whether you are an employer or candidate.

For Employers:

1) Voluntary wage discussions:
Employers can expound on salary when candidates bring up the topic unprompted. Some states prevent employers from taking these disclosures into consideration in
hiring decisions.

2) Reference salary range in job postings:
Consider mentioning the compensation range when advertising jobs. You may also want to talk about salary earlier in the process, such as during phone screenings for example.

For Candidates:

1) Do your homework:
To better prepare for discussions about salary, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Industries at a Glance website. It provides a ballpark estimate of what the average worker in
your position earns.

2) Don’t ask about salary too early:
If the interview involves several rounds, consider bringing up salary in the second or third round to avoid coming across as money hungry. More comprehensive wage laws are an attempt to level the playing field. By being aware of how to approach them, employers and candidates can improve fairness and better appreciate the value of hard work.

***You can take a look at this helpful reference at HRDrive.com–it is a frequently updated running list of all states and/or localities that prohibits employers from asking job candidates salary history questions when considering them for hire.

Click here to see “salary history bans” information.


click image to view infographic

(Sources: Women’s Policy Research, and Prager U)
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