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October 22, 2017

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What is Your Salary History?

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Ever cringe when you’re asked for salary history as you’re applying for a new job?

Prospective employers want to know what you’ve earned, so they don’t overpay for your time and talent. Yet you’re looking for advancement and you don’t want to be limited by previous positions.

The city of Philadelphia and the commonwealth of Massachusetts have banned that question. Legislation is now pending in California and New York City.

Is this an idea whose time has come nationwide? Would you benefit financially while negotiating salary about your future instead of being dogged by your past?

Tell us about your experiences–and what you think employers should be entitled to–and banned from–asking.


  1. Rhonda

    Well since moving to the south I’ve noticed a huge difference.
    I actually had a HR Manager laugh at me during a phone interview when she asked what was I currently making for a wage.
    I was stuck in a job that was that, a job! The one I was interviewing for was in my realm of experience and a way out and back on track. But nope…..
    I also had another HR Manager ask me very personal questions during an interview, if I was married to a man or woman, if I had kids, what side of town was I living on…..very inappropriate questions.
    Due to those experiences I’m so ready to move to another state!!

  2. Jaisy George

    I had a slow but passionate climb up through the corporate ladder in banking. I was a victim of the 2008 market crash in June 2009. 2011 was the last time I maintained a banking role. The people in my field made. As low as $48,000 all the way up to $120,000. Since then I’ve transitioned into Property Management, Real Estate and Affordable Housing. 6 years later I am still trying to recover my original salary in $65-75,000 range. I find myself either asking for too much and therefore overlooked or being overqualified or trying to dumb-down my resume just to get a job.

  3. Lois

    That is a fantastic proposal! I’m well educated, experienced, and very capable. However, I currently have a job that requires a great deal of responsibility, pays very poorly and is not self-supporting. The entire purpose of searching for a new job is the need for a substantial salary increase. My current job history interferes with my financial progress. Thank you for this recommendation. I hope it becomes national!

  4. Nivia Taboas

    I have found the salary question becomes a challenge for me, when applying for a position online; I select the amount but then you are not given an option to write (negotiable). If you select an amount the potential employer deems is too high; you won’t even get an invitation to an interview. If the salary question is asked at the interview, and the position I am applying for is one I’ve had ample experience; I would simply say, “While I was employed as an HR Coordinator, I was making this amount. It is annoying to be asked the salary question and totally not necessary. Asking what your salary requirements are will not let the potential employer know whether I can or not perform the essential duties of the position.

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