Cincinnati, Ohio Enacts Salary History Ban

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March 12, the Cincinnati City Council voted in favor of an Ordinance that will bar employers from asking job candidates about their salary history. The Ordinance will go into effect in 1 year.
Ordinance No. 83-2019 prohibits employers from screening job candidates based on their salary history information, including requiring that prior salary history meets minimum or maximum criteria. Additionally, employers may not use a candidate’s salary history to make hiring decisions or set compensation. Further, employers may not refuse to hire or otherwise retaliate against a candidate that does not disclose his/her salary history information.
Salary history includes the candidate’s current or prior wage, benefits or other compensation. However, salary history does not include objective measures of the candidate’s productivity such as revenue, sales or other production reports.
Employers will also be required to provide the relevant pay scale for a position when a candidate has received a conditional offer of employment and requests that information.
Despite these restrictions, employers will still be permitted to inform candidates about the proposed salary or salary range, seek prior sales or revenue reports and discuss salary expectations with the candidate, so long as there are no questions about salary history.
There are several exemptions outlined in the Ordinance including candidates for internal transfers or promotions, voluntary and unprompted disclosures of salary history by candidates and candidates who are re-hired by the employer within five years of the candidate’s most recent date of termination.
If an employer violates the ban, affected candidates will be able sue to recover compensatory damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, costs and equitable relief. Employers should consult with qualified legal counsel to determine what changes, if any, may be needed to their hiring practices.

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