What can't employers ask applicants? Nearly half of the states and many localities have implemented equal pay act laws that include, among other things, prohibitions on requesting and considering salary history and benefit information, and many more are considering similar legislation. The reasoning is that basing prospective employee compensation on past salary and benefits can perpetuate disparities based on gender, race and other factors.
Generally, these laws prohibit employers-either directly or through their agents, which can include recruiters and staffing firms-from inquiring about past compensation, sometimes including information about benefits, and from relying upon such information in making compensation decisions. A few such laws are limited to public employers, but most extend to all private employers.
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