There’s a long tradition in which employers ask candidates in job posts and applications for salary requirements or for their salary history. The practice is so common, most professionals don’t give the question a second thought. But asking for salary history in a job post can actually perpetuate the wage gap.
That’s why Massachusetts signed a new equal pay act into law that prohibits employers from asking job candidates about salary history in application materials and the interview. The reasoning behind the act is that when compensation is based on past numbers, it only perpetuates past disparities, especially because women typically earn less than men in their first job.
In addition, people tend to make judgments and assumptions about a candidate’s value based on what they earned in a previous position, whether they mean to or not.
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