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Columbus, Ohio’s Salary History Ban Goes Live March 1, 2024

Effective March 1, 2024, employers with fifteen or more employees in Columbus, Ohio, will be prohibited from asking job applicants about their wage and salary histories during the hiring process. This includes any job placement or referral agency that is acting on behalf of a covered employer.

The objective of the “salary history ban” is to promote pay equity by prohibiting employers from inquiring about:

  • job applicants’ wages;
  • benefits; and
  • other compensation history during the hiring process.

Employers are also prohibited from:

  • Searching publicly available records to obtain job applicants’ salary history.
  • Screening job applicants based on their current or prior wages/salaries.
  • Relying on the salary history of job applicants in determining whether to hire them.
  • Retaliating against job applicants for not disclosing their salary histories.

Employers are still permitted to discuss job applicants’ salary expectations, as well as any monetary incentives or gains that applicants would forfeit by resigning their current employment. Employers will not be penalized if job applicants voluntarily disclose their own salary history unprompted or if such salary history appears on a legal background check, as long as employers do not use that information to make decisions with regard to compensation or whether to make a job offer.

Other than the City of Columbus, the ordinance does not apply to any unit of local, state, or federal government. The ordinance also does not apply to internal transfers or promotions or to applicants rehired by the same employer within three years of their separation.

Columbus employers will need to ensure that their managers, human resources employees, and outside recruiting agencies are aware of the ordinance’s prohibitions. It is recommended that they receive training on what information they can discuss with applicants and consider when making hiring and compensation decisions.

HR Consulting Team, HR Services
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