Atlanta Mayor Bans Salary History Questions on City Job Applications

It’s a growing trend, and the City of Atlanta has jumped on the bandwagon.

 

Last month, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a ban on salary history questions when it comes to hiring city employees. The move aims to ensure that hiring happens based on “qualifications, experience, and merit.”

 

Broader goals of the change, she said in a Feb. 18 press release, include “closing the wage gap and prioritizing equal pay policies.” The ban will not only boost fairness in hiring, Bottoms added, but also ensure “city-wide economic parity and move us closer to a more equitable One Atlanta.”

 

Atlanta joins just over a dozen states and close to the same number of municipalities favoring a ban on salary history questions. (Check here to see if your state or city is listed.)

 

But here’s a twist in this law-making process. Philadelphia, one of the first cities to adopt a ban, has had its salary history ban halted. Why? A U.S. District judge says their law violates First Amendment rights. The issue is currently making its way through the courts.

 

So, how should job seekers approach these hiring changes?

 

Know what to expect. It’s always good to know what laws apply in your city. Some salary ban laws are more specific than others. But it’s also important to remember this: even with law changes, some salary questions can still pop up during the interview process.

 

Know your worth. While it’s true that women often make less than their male counterparts, these law changes could mean less upfront salary insights about the job you’re seeking. There’s also this: one study from the Harvard Business Review suggests the salary ban may impact some women negatively. So, what’s the answer? Job seekers should always be confident of their own value and present it in an honest, professional way to future employers.

 

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