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Michigan and Wisconsin Go Against the Grain by Banning Salary History Bans

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The growing trend of “salary history bans" has screeched to a halt in Michigan and Wisconsin. Both of those states passed legislation that actually prohibits local governments (i.e., cities) from enacting such legislation. Although the primary aim behind salary history ban laws is to prevent potential pay discrimination, opponents of these laws argue that asking prospective employees about current and previous pay falls under the realm of standard business practice, largely citing that obtaining this information is important in determining departmental budgets.
 
In March 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 84 which restricts cities within the state from “enforcing local polic[ies] that regulate the information an employer or potential employer must request, require, or exclude” on a job application or during the interview process. Public Act 84 goes into effect late June 2018. This law doesn’t just regulate salary history laws – ban the box or fair chance laws are also off the table for cities in Michigan to consider.
 
In the same month, Wisconsin Governor Scott walker signed Assembly Bill 748 which addresses the employer’s right to solicit salary information of prospective employees. The law outlines that the issue is a matter for the state and thus explicitly forbids local governments from enacting and enforcing salary history ban laws.
 
Although these outlier states go against the grain of the salary history ban trend, there are other jurisdictions that do expressly prohibit salary history inquiries or limit the timing of these inquiries. We recommend employers, especially those with offices in multiple states, consult with qualified legal counsel to determine if they are impacted by laws related to salary history inquires. 

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