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News & Press: Affinity HR Group Resources

Q&A: Pay Equity

Tuesday, January 16, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allison Hudson
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Question

We have always verified a candidate’s previous salary history early on in the hiring process.  Usually we ask for a copy of a pay stub or a copy of the candidate’s previous year’s tax filing.  Is there any problem with that practice?

Answer

We don’t recommend this practice.  First, a pay stub and/or tax return contains revealing information that an employer shouldn't have pre-hire, such as age, number of dependents, marital status, social security number, garnishments, miscellaneous deductions on pay stubs, other deductions on taxes (think medical costs, child care, etc.).  Obtaining this information post-hire is acceptable but not pre-hire.

 

 In addition, a few cities and states have moved to prohibit employers from asking for previous salary information altogether and even more prohibit asking for W-2s & tax returns.  The main reason for these laws is for equal pay reasons.  People (mainly women) who were underpaid at previous jobs cannot find pay equality if future employers know what they made before and base their offer on that information.  Asking for salary history perpetuates inequitable pay.

 

Instead, we recommend companies focus on what they want to pay for the position and make sure they offer the same regardless of sex, age, etc. 


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