New Minnesota law will ban employers from asking a job candidate's salary history

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, shown in 2022. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan recalled feeling uncomfortable when she applied for a job years ago and the employer asked about her previous salary. She said she felt as if she had to answer — and found out after she was hired that she was being paid $40,000 less than her predecessor. “This has consequences … that’s real wealth,” Flanagan said. “And when we talk about this for women and women of color in particular, it’s no wonder that we see gaps in homeownership, gaps in overall health and wellbeing. This is where it starts, in wealth creation and the ability of you to care for yourself, to care for your family and to set up your own future.” She and other Minnesota leaders gathered at the State Capitol on Thursday to highlight a new law taking effect Jan. 1 that prohibits employers from asking job candidates about their salary history when hiring and negotiating pay. Candidates can still volunteer their earnings history if they wish. Advocates of the law, passed this summer by the Minnesota Legislature, say that women and people of color face discrimination in the workforce and on average are paid less than male and white employees. Learning a candidate’s past salary can be used to justify lower compensation, they say, arguing that cutting out the question will push employers to pay workers based on their skills. “In 2024, we are going to put an end to this discrimination … We can and must live in a state where men and women, no matter their race and ethnicity, have the same opportunities to succeed and this is one way that we’re going to try to make that goal a local reality,” Flanagan said. The legislation has drawn opposition from some […]

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