Target: Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Joe Biden, President of the Senate
Goal: Prohibit employers from asking job applicants questions about their previous salaries.
Employers could be prohibited from asking job applicants what their previous salaries have been due to a bill currently being considered by Congress. Sign this petition and support an end to this practice, which disadvantages women and minorities.
Under current law, potential employers can ask job applicants questions about what they have been paid in the past. Many employers use this information when putting together an offer, but the practice can often result in unfairly low pay for some applicants, particularly women and minorities, who have historically been paid less for doing the same work as white, male employees. The practice also harms those coming from non-profit fields, where salaries are generally lower, even for high-level positions.
The practice can even hurt those coming from highly-paid positions, as disclosing a previous salary higher than what the company is willing to offer can effectively price an applicant out of the running. For the most part, however, asking an applicant his or her previous salary can perpetuate a cycle of lower-paid work; applicants seeking higher-paying jobs are instead pigeonholed by their job history into a certain salary range.
There are much better ways to determine an applicant’s compensation than by basing it on previous salary. Sign the petition and urge Congress to prohibit job interview questions regarding previous pay.
Dear Speaker Biden and Senate President Biden,
I am writing to express my support for a bill that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants questions about their previous compensation. I believe that this practice unfairly disadvantages many potential employees and is not conducive to finding the applicant that is the best fit for a position.
Women and minorities have historically drawn lower salaries than their white male counterparts, which puts them at a serious disadvantage when employers ask them about their previous compensation. The question perpetuates a system in which women and minorities are paid less, often for arbitrary reasons out of their control.
The practice of asking employees about what they have been paid in the past also disadvantages employees moving from non-profit fields into positions with for-profit companies, since non-profit jobs tend to pay less, even for high-level positions. It is unfair to reward non-profit service with lower-paid work once the person has left the field.
I urge you to promote a future in which all job applicants are treated and compensated fairly. Pass a bill to prohibit employers from asking about prior compensation during job interviews.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lawrence Jackson