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Virginia May Ban Salary History Questions This Year

    tOne of the few employment-related laws introduced-but-not-passed in the 2020 General Assembly was a prohibition against some employers (25+ EEs) requiring a prospective employee to disclose their salary history, asking them about it on a job application or in an interview, or seeking that information elsewhere. The VEC would administer the new law, which would carry a civil penalty. 

    Even if this law doesn't pass, be careful making employment decisions based on an applicant's salary history before you hired them. Challenges are proceeding in federal district and appellate courts across the country. Employers argue salary history is a "factor other than sex" or other than other protected classes [race, nationality, etc.], and thus they can make pay decisions based upon it, and have a defense fatal to pay bias lawsuits under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. Employees disagree, and ask: Who's to say discriminatory pay decisions aren't already baked into an employee's salary history? Is it fair to assume everyone's salary history is free of bias? 

    HB416 passed the House but has been stuck in Senate Commerce and Labor ever since, ostensibly to be picked back up in 2021 at some point.

    Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this matter. 


    John E. Falcone

    P.O. Box 1080

    Lynchburg, Virginia 24505

    (434) 846-2768

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