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Salary History Ban: Columbus Joins Ohio Cities in Employment Inquiry Restrictions

salary history

Effective March 1, 2024, The City of Columbus will join Toledo and Cincinnati as Ohio’s latest city to prohibit employers from inquiring about a potential employee’s wage or salary history.

The new ordinance deems it an “unlawful discriminatory practice” for an employer to:

  • Inquire about an applicant’s salary history, encompassing current or previous wages, benefits, or other compensation. However, salary history excludes any objective measures of the applicant’s productivity, such as revenue, sales, or production reports.
  • Evaluate job candidates based on their current or past wages, benefits, or other compensation.
  • Solely rely on an applicant’s salary history to make employment offers or determine wages, benefits, or other compensation.
  • Decline to hire or otherwise discriminate against an applicant for refusing to disclose salary history.
  • Employers are still allowed to discuss salary, benefits, and compensation expectations with applicants.

Unlike Toledo and Cincinnati, Columbus does not mandate that employers share the pay scale for the position with a post a conditional job offer.

The ordinance allows applicants to file an administrative complaint with the Columbus Community Relations Commission. Employers who breach the ordinance could face civil fines of up to $5,000, the severity of penalties dependent on the frequency of violations.

The prohibition on asking about salary history is spreading nationwide, posing risks for employers even in areas where such inquiries are permitted. Given the prevalence of remote work and expanded business operations, companies must stay updated on evolving laws concerning pay transparency and equity.

Click here for more information.

For more information on Salary History and other laws, and whether they affect your state, visit the Hire Image Resource Library.

Hire Image is a division of Orange Tree Employment Screening, uniting our strengths to design a background screening program in your best interest and deliver unmatched client experience.

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