Oregon becomes the latest state to ban salary history inquiries

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed the Oregon Equal Pay Act into law on June 1, 2017.

According to Stoel Rives LLP, the new law expands on existing federal and state law to prohibit employers from the following:

  1. Screening job applicants based on current or past compensation;
  2. Determining compensation for a position based on current or past compensation of a prospective employee (this does not include current employees transferring or moving into a new position); and
  3. Asking job applicants about their salary history or seeking it from other employers.

The Equal Pay Act will not prevent an employer from requesting from a prospective employee written authorization to confirm prior compensation after the employer makes an offer of employment to the prospective employee that includes an amount of compensation. The law also does not prevent an employer from considering the compensation of a current employee during a transfer, move or hire of the employee to a new position with the same employer.

With the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, Oregon becomes the latest jurisdiction to adopt a salary history ban, joining the likes of Massachusetts, New York City and Philadelphia (although Philadelphia has agreed to stay the implementation date pending the outcome of a case filed by the Chamber of Commerce). These laws aim to reduce pay gaps that exist between genders, races and other protected classes by encouraging companies to examine their pay practices. For more information on the equal-pay legislation trend, you can read our previous ComplianceAlert, here.

The majority of the Equal Pay Act’s provisions will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. The full text of the law can be found here.

Source: Stoel Rives LLP, 5/30/2017

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