General Assembly To Consider Equal Pay Bill

It would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary histories.


Annapolis, Md (KM). The Maryland General Assembly will be considering an equal pay for equal work bill  this session. “Even though we have pretty strong equal pay laws, there are work arounds  to those laws. And one of those work arounds is asking a prospective employee for their past salary history. And frequently, that’s irrelevant for the job they’re interviewing for,” says Frederick County Delegate Karen Lewis Young.

She’s sponsoring legislation to prohibit employers from asking job candidates about their salary histories. “Most employers have an expectation of what they will pay. They should pay a salary within that range based on that individual’s skills and qualifications, not what they did in the past, ” says Young.

She says too often what a prospective employee did in the past has no relation to the position they’re currently seeking. “If you were a homemaker and did part time child care, and you went back to school, and you’re now interviewing for an administrative position, what you did ten years ago is totally irrelevant to what your salary should be today,” says Young.

In addition, Young says asking for a salary history discriminates against women and minorities. But under the bill, job candidates could volunteer their salary histories  if they wish, says Young.

“The other thing the bill does is that it requires that an employer produce a salary range if the applicant asks that information,” says Young

In a statement, Delegate Young said if this bill passes, it would “greatly diffuse the obstacles that are getting in the way of equal pay.”

The legislation passed the House of Delegates last year, but didn’t make it out of the State Senate. Delegate Young says Senators at the time were busy with a sick leave bill.


By Kevin McManus