Has this ever happened to you?
You apply for a job and learn you must share your salary history. What might seem like an innocent request is just one more reason why women and people of color often don’t receive equal pay.
Too many employers base salary offers on a candidate’s previous pay — which is often lower for women compared to their male counterparts because of the wage gap. So even if a woman leaves a job because she’s being paid unfairly, that lower salary will continue to haunt her in her new job. And over time, those lower salaries add up to huge losses that affect her family’s financial well-being and ultimately her retirement.
That’s why Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, along with other equal pay champions in the House, just introduced a bill that would kick this outdated practice to the curb once and for all.
This commonsense bill would prohibit employers from asking job candidates about salary history. The bill would authorize the Department of Labor to fine employers who violate the law. Prospective or current employees would also be able to sue an employer who violated the law and obtain damages.
Women and people of color are losing monumental amounts of money because of unfair pay practices that result in pay discrimination following them from job to job. While stopping employers from asking about salary history won’t completely close the wage gap, it’s a huge step in the right direction. And since the wage gap has barely budged in more than a decade, we need to do everything we can to close it.
Thank you for joining us and continuing to fight for equal pay.