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Wage History Protected; Disclosure of Pay Scale and Benefits Required

As of June 30, 2024, all District of Columbia employers will be prohibited from:

  • Screening applicants based on their wage history, including by requiring that it satisfy minimum or maximum criteria or by requesting or requiring it for an interview or job offer considerations; or
  • Seeking an applicant’s wage history from a former employer.

Employers will also be required to:

  • Provide the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly pay in all job listings and position descriptions advertised. This range must be from the lowest to the highest pay that the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.
  • Disclose to prospective employees the healthcare benefits that employees may receive before the first interview.

Applicants will be able to ask about this information if the employer doesn’t provide it. Employers will also be required to conspicuously post a workplace notice about these legal rights.

District of Columbia Wage Transparency

Beginning June 30, 2024, the District of Columbia will have a stronger wage transparency law, which applies to employers of all sizes.

Screening and Salary Inquiries Prohibited

Under the amended law, employers won’t be allowed to screen job applicants based on their wage history, including by requiring that an applicant’s previous compensation fall between, above, or below certain minimums and maximums. Employers also can’t request or require that applicants provide their wage history as a condition of being interviewed or considered for employment. While this technically leaves the door open to asking about wage history, as long as it’s not a required answer, we recommend avoiding these questions entirely. Employers also can’t seek an applicant’s wage history from their prior employer.

Wage history includes all information related to compensation from other employment, including (but not limited to) pay structure, bonus plans, benefits, paid time off, non-monetary perks, and salary increases.

Pay Ranges Required in Job Postings

Joining a handful of other states with pay posting requirements, employers in D.C. will have to provide a good faith estimate of the salary or hourly pay range they expect to pay for the position being advertised. The estimate must include a minimum and maximum. This applies to all job listings and position descriptions, including internal postings for promotions and transfers.

Healthcare Benefits Disclosure

Employers will need to inform applicants about healthcare benefits they’d be eligible for if hired, and this needs to be done prior to interviewing. Employers can—but are not required to—meet this obligation by putting the information in the job ad.

Notice to Employees

Employers will need to display a notice about employees’ rights under this law in a conspicuous location where employees congregate. D.C. has not yet made a template notice available, but employers that are eager to comply can print and post these in the workplace: pay disclosure and salary history.

Action Items

  • Ensure each job posting has a good faith estimate of the position’s pay range
  • Remove salary history questions from your job applications (or at least make them clearly optional)
  • Train hiring managers on what they can and cannot ask about as well as what they must disclose

Post the required notice

HR Consulting Team, HR Services
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