Prior-job salary inquiry growing focus in employment law sphere

Would-be employers generally want to know, and prospective employees interviewing for jobs generally want to remain tight-lipped on the details.

That is true in Connecticut and across the country when it comes to the sensitive subject of inquiries relevant to prior salary history.

Many employers see absolutely nothing wrong about directly soliciting the particulars. In fact, they often feel they have a compelling need to know in order to make informed judgments about applicants and job offers. And employees often believe that giving such knowledge to hiring managers might peg them as lacking in experience or, conversely, being overqualified for an open position. Moreover, they suspect that stating a too-high number could immediately disqualify them from further consideration.

It’s a slippery slope, to be sure, with any inquiry soliciting previous salary history automatically becoming a moment of marked gravity in a placement interview.

One national publication recently spotlighted the subject matter, with its perspective being on America’s female workforce, a group that has collectively – and unquestionably – experienced hiring discrimination and subsequent maltreatment when it comes to wages.

The New York Times points out that many women suffer continuously low wages compared with men because they start out at a lower base. That is, they were treated unfairly at one company, and their subpar pay threshold carried over to a second employer, once hiring managers there got the details on past salary history.

Should the disclosure of such information simply be outlawed across the country?

The topic seems to beg the type of polar-opposite debate that attaches to much legal subject matter. Voices on both sides argue alternatively “yes” and “no” positions, respectively.

Employers understandably have questions and concerns. So too do job applicants. Attorneys from a proven employment law firm can provide input in a given case, as well as help commercial clients identify and develop best practices in their training programs and policy handbooks.