5 State, Local Labor Developments You May Have Missed

August 1, 2017
Law360

Media Coverage

All eyes have been on Washington, D.C., over the last few months as President Donald Trump has worked to advance his agenda, but local and state lawmakers have kept busy tweaking their labor and employment laws. Here, Law360 gets you up to speed on a few developments you might have missed.

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San Francisco joined the growing list of municipalities and states that have barred employers from asking job candidates about their salary history last month, when Mayor Ed Lee signed the Parity in Pay Ordinance. New York City, Philadelphia, Delaware, Puerto Rico, Oregon and Massachusetts have adopted similar laws.

Proponents of the salary history bans argue using a worker’s prior history to set their new salary perpetuates lower pay for women and minorities, while opponents argue they make it harder for employers to gauge the market price for workers.

But while the law undeniably closes off asking applicants about their past salaries, there are legal ways for employers to decide how much to offer.

“There’s nothing stopping employers from talking to current employees who are not job applicants,” Blank Rome LLP partner Laura Reathaford said. “There’s nothing stopping you from calling a friend or colleague at a competitor’s business and asking them, ‘What do you guys pay? What do you make?’”

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“5 State, Local Labor Developments You May Have Missed,” by Braden Campbell was published in Law360 on August 1, 2017.