VBSR: House Committee Tackles Salary History in Equal Pay Bill

The House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs has held hearings on H.294, an act to prohibit employers from requiring an applicant to disclose his or her salary and benefit history.
The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs has introduced S.275, a bill that would expand the wage discrimination provisions of the Fair Employment Practices Act to prohibit employers from requesting an applicants history.
H.294 and S.275 would both prohibit employers from requesting potential employees salary history and from going to potential employees past employers. H.294, further, would prevent employers from refusing to interview or hire based on refusal to disclose salary requirements. S.275 aims to prevent some of the ambiguity in the job hiring process – both for employee and employer. The acts do two things: revises equal pay and adds in the prevention of inquiring about salary history.
These bills would help close the persistent gender pay gap. Women typically earn around 10% less than men in their early careers, often due to the fact that women are less likely than men to negotiate for higher pay. This small gap of 10% often increases to 20% later on in their careers. Removing salary history from job applications and the interview process is one small step to working toward equal pay in Vermont.

VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow testified in support of the legislation last week, citing feedback from VBSR members that they no longer ask applicants about salary history and instead focus on salary expectations.

 

Read VBSR’s Testimony. 

 

 

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