Kansas City Joins Movement To Ban Salary History Inquiries

Author:Mr Walter M. Brown
Profession:Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

Employers in Kansas City, Missouri, are now prohibited from asking applicants about their prior salary or pay histories. Kansas City's ordinance, which becomes effective on October 31, 2019, is part of a growing national trend to ban salary history questions. Several states (including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) have already passed similar legislation.

Kansas City's Law

The ordinance generally prohibits employers from inquiring about applicants' salary histories. Specifically, the ordinance prohibits employers from

screening applicants based on their current or previous wages or other compensation and maintaining any requirement that prior wages meet minimum or maximum criteria; using past wage information to determine whether to offer an applicant a position or to determine the applicant's salary or other compensation; and retaliating against, refusing to hire, or otherwise "disfavoring" an applicant because the applicant refused to provide his or her salary history to the employer. Exceptions

The ordinance includes several exceptions:

The ordinance expressly allows an employer and applicant to discuss the applicant's expectations as they relate to salary, benefits, or other compensation, "including but not limited to unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant's resignation from their current employer." An employer and applicant may discuss an applicant's salary history if the applicant voluntarily, and without prompting, discloses his or her salary history. The salary ban excludes current...

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