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via NYT Dealbook --

In a groundbreaking effort to close the wage gap between men and women, Massachusetts has become the first state to bar employers from asking about applicants’ salaries before offering them a job.

The new law will require hiring managers to state a compensation figure upfront — based on what an applicant’s worth is to the company, rather than on what he or she made in a previous position.

The bipartisan legislation, signed into law on Monday by Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, is being pushed as a model for other states, as the issue of men historically outearning women who do the same job has leapt onto the national political scene.

... The Massachusetts law, which will go into effect in July 2018, takes other steps as well to combat pay discrimination. Companies will not be allowed to prohibit workers from telling others how much they are paid, a move that proponents say can increase salary transparency and help employees discover disparities.

More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/business/dealbook/wage-gap-mas... 
Text of legislation: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S2119

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For some, depending on with whom he'd be commiserating, that might be enough compensation all on its own.

IMBoring25 (Aug. 07, 2016 @ 5:49p) |

er, we have different ideas of what is meant by "lowball" -- the IT offers I am talking about are closer to 50% than 70%... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Aug. 07, 2016 @ 11:03p) |

That's a perfectly valid answer, although not too many folks take that route.  I've seen it cut both ways.

Evilmagus (Aug. 08, 2016 @ 9:36p) |

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Won't it just come up during a WorkNumber background check?

fatbaby said:   Won't it just come up during a WorkNumber background check?
  The statutory language seems pretty broad, plus the AG is authorized to write regulations.  Seems employers will have to be careful not to "seek" such information prior to an offer of employment with compensation amount stated.

fatbaby said:   Won't it just come up during a WorkNumber background check?
  WorkNumber gives employees option to block disclosing salary info.

ach1199 said:   
fatbaby said:   Won't it just come up during a WorkNumber background check?
  WorkNumber gives employees option to block disclosing salary info.

  Not sure that matters.  Law says employers can't seek prior salary info before making employment offer w/ comp.  This law full of traps for the unwary.

tuphat wrote: said: The statutory language seems pretty broad, plus the AG is authorized to write regulations

What OP mentions in the first part of his sentence is problematic, for sure. But what he writes in the second part is pure dynamite. Danger, Will Robinson!

is ther ANYTHING that the gubment in this country doesnt want to micro-manage?


So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.

ach1199 said:   
fatbaby said:   Won't it just come up during a WorkNumber background check?
  WorkNumber gives employees option to block disclosing salary info.

  Can one block that online or is there another process?

How does this help when you get a job through a temp agency, which might make and withdraw three job offers an hour?

soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
  I think a lot of employers in the past have asked for a copy of paystub to prove current salary. Now they can't do that, so you can make up whatever figure you want.

soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

Another great reason not to create jobs or locate a business in Massachusetts.

C'mon Mike.  Where are you?

scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Your worth is exactly what somebody will pay you and what u will take to work.
Unfair doesnt really enter here.

owenscott said:   
 Your worth is exactly what somebody will pay you and what u will take to work.
Unfair doesnt really enter here.

  if you (a prospective employee) have to disclose previous salary, your prospective employers enjoy an informational advantage over you.  They know what you make/made, before you know what they're willing to pay.  Say you're actually worth $100k.  But, due to any number of reasons, you're currently earning $70k.  If you have to disclose that figure pre-offer, then you're likely to get an offer slanted by your salary history, rather than on your current market value.  how do you get what you're worth if virtually all employers play the same/similar game?  there are some strategies.  but if they were to fail, you'd be potentially exploited by a power imbalance.  that looks like a soft slavery.

scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

  
Are they not still allowed to ask your requested salary?

Glitch99 said:    If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

 


Not an apologist for this law, but: I think the more realistic scenario is that employer effectively decides that $50k is the "right" salary for a particular job, and makes $50k offer to first choice Candidate A. If Candidate A wants the job but also wants more than $50k, it's incumbent on him/her to tell prospective employer that he/she wants more money, and they negotiate from there.  If they can't agree, employer moves to Candidate B.

I think the overall assumption is that the candidate's prior/current salary shouldn't set the price of the new job.  The law is a blunt instrument approach to what is actually a pretty good objective, viz. let the market set the price.
  

arch8ngel said:   
Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

  
Are they not still allowed to ask your requested salary?

  OP said their required to state a compensation figure up front.

Glitch99 said:   
arch8ngel said:   
Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

  
Are they not still allowed to ask your requested salary?

  OP said their required to state a compensation figure up front.

  
The linked law didn't seem to explicitly say that, whereas it had a lot of explicit language about not pursuing a prospective hire's salary history.

Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

 If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?

tuphat said:   
Glitch99 said:    If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

 


Not an apologist for this law, but: I think the more realistic scenario is that employer effectively decides that $50k is the "right" salary for a particular job, and makes $50k offer to first choice Candidate A. If Candidate A wants the job but also wants more than $50k, it's incumbent on him/her to tell prospective employer that he/she wants more money, and they negotiate from there.  If they can't agree, employer moves to Candidate B.

 

  That's pretty obvious

rufflesinc said:   
Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

 If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?

  $50K candidate = so-so performer. $60K candidate = star performer

rufflesinc said:    If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?
 

  
"Qualified" is a minimum threshold.  Between any two candidates for what is nominally the same position, there will be differences in the quality of their work product and/or their efficiency.  If the more expensive candidate can get 25% more work accomplished in the same amount of time, be a better salesperson, cover marginally-related positions when the primary is out of the office, or is a better candidate for a difficult-to-fill promotion position that is expected to be opening in the near future, the company could be miles ahead hiring the more expensive candidate.

When you adjust for the experiential factors associated with maternity leave, the wage gap is far smaller than the activists' numbers would suggest.  Given the further perturbing factors of assertiveness (asking for more money or making aggressive career moves to make it happen), it would be even smaller.

stanolshefski said:   
rufflesinc said:   
Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

 If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?

  $50K candidate = so-so performer. $60K candidate = star performer

  Then the former wouldn't make the cut

IMBoring25 said:   
rufflesinc said:    If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?
  
"Qualified" is a minimum threshold.  Between any two candidates for what is nominally the same position, there will be differences in the quality of their work product and/or their efficiency.  If the more expensive candidate can get 25% more work accomplished in the same amount of time, be a better salesperson, cover marginally-related positions when the primary is out of the office, or is a better candidate for a difficult-to-fill promotion position that is expected to be opening in the near future, the company could be miles ahead hiring the more expensive candidate.

 

  My use of qualified did not mean minimum threshold. It meant the better qualified candidate, sorry if that was not clear.

If the business could afford the more qualified person , why wouldn't they offer them more money? None of what you're saying is changed by this law. If a person is qualified, they are qualified irrespective of how much they are making.

rufflesinc said:   
Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

 If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?

  Because "qualified" is a minimum standard.  Some places prefer to hire the best candidate.

Glitch99 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
Glitch99 said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Or, it holds back the earning potential for men, as it prevents employers from negotiating salary based on what it'll take to hire someone away from their current position.  If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

What this law does is assume all employees are drones that are interchangeable, where there is no benefit in selecting one qualified individual over another.  The employer is paying to get the work done, period; the quality and quantity is irrelevant

 If you have two qualified individual (as defined by the employer, this law doesn't change that), why would any employer hire the person asking $60k over the one asking $50k?

  Because "qualified" is a minimum standard.  Some places prefer to hire the best candidate.

  Then "best" is their minimum . Either way this rule doesn't keep an employer from hiring the best candidate or offering that person however much money it takes to get them.

As best as I can tell from the text of the legislation, nothing keeps the employer from offering a "best" candidate more money than another less "best" candidate

naxe said:   Say you're actually worth $100k.  But, due to any number of reasons, you're currently earning $70k.how do you get what you're worth if virtually all employers play the same/similar game?  
  
All employers play the same game? They are competing against each other to aquire top talent. 

If someone is worth $100k then they will find an employer willing to pay them $100k. If they can't find an employer willing to pay $100k then that means that the free market determined the individuals labor is not worth $100k. 

owenscott said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Your worth is exactly what somebody will pay you and what u will take to work.
Unfair doesnt really enter here.

  
You see this mentality all the time, with it's inspiration from some kind of survival of the fittest or natural selection. But the reality is that natural selection has led humans to form societies, become collaborative, and take appearingly-non-efficient decisions like voluntarily caring for others. So a novice approach of "survival of the fittest" is obviously not the sole answer. And other concepts like "fairness" enter the equation. For whatever definition you may or may not have of fairness. Given that, say you employ an idiot savant genius that codes up algorithms for some hedge fund that generates $10 million extra profit per year. Yet the savant is clueless about compensation, and accepts a salary of $1 per year. Is $1 honestly the "worth" of this worker?

Do you really want the government to decide what is fair?  If so where will it stop?

tuphat said:   
fatbaby said:   Won't it just come up during a WorkNumber background check?
  The statutory language seems pretty broad, plus the AG is authorized to write regulations.  Seems employers will have to be careful not to "seek" such information prior to an offer of employment with compensation amount stated.


  This is bad news - the AG of Massachusetts is a mini-tyrant who makes up laws as she wishes they were written, redefines words in common usage, redefines existing laws to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, and sends threatening letters to businesses based on her whims. She rules through FUD - Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. 

jcbrooks said:   
owenscott said:   
scripta said:   
soxfan1 said:   So they'll just lowball everyone, and when the prospective employee says "I made xxxx at my last job", then negotiations will begin.
Disclosing salary history before the offer is made is unfair, IMO. You might not even get an offer if you made too much, and you might get less than you deserve if you didn't make enough. I think combating pay discrimination is just a side effect of the law, and it might not even work because of what you said.

  Your worth is exactly what somebody will pay you and what u will take to work.
Unfair doesnt really enter here.

  
You see this mentality all the time, with it's inspiration from some kind of survival of the fittest or natural selection. But the reality is that natural selection has led humans to form societies, become collaborative, and take appearingly-non-efficient decisions like voluntarily caring for others. So a novice approach of "survival of the fittest" is obviously not the sole answer. And other concepts like "fairness" enter the equation. For whatever definition you may or may not have of fairness. Given that, say you employ an idiot savant genius that codes up algorithms for some hedge fund that generates $10 million extra profit per year. Yet the savant is clueless about compensation, and accepts a salary of $1 per year. Is $1 honestly the "worth" of this worker?
 

 Anyone that says a women can't protect themselves and the government must legislate their pay obviously already thinks women are worth less then men are.  I very much like how you compare women to an idiot savant genius.

giqcass said:    Anyone that says a women can't protect themselves and the government must legislate their pay obviously already thinks women are worth less then men are.
 

  There are at least 3 assumptions you're making here, none of which necessarily correlate with each-other.  I feel the need to disagree with this statement, but I don't know where to start ...

brettdoyle said:   
naxe said:   Say you're actually worth $100k.  But, due to any number of reasons, you're currently earning $70k.how do you get what you're worth if virtually all employers play the same/similar game?  
  
All employers play the same game? They are competing against each other to aquire top talent. 

If someone is worth $100k then they will find an employer willing to pay them $100k. If they can't find an employer willing to pay $100k then that means that the free market determined the individuals labor is not worth $100k. 

  sure they're theoretically competing against each other for top talent.  but that goal is easily thwarted by bureaucratic rules & a cover-your-ass mentality within corporations.  if the rules say you have to give X weight to salary history, then you're most likely going to do so, even if you know that doing so is to your employer's detriment.  you're probably just going to be there for a year or two anyway.  so why would you go all heroic?  lol @ this "free market" propaganda.

brettdoyle said:   
 
If someone is worth $100k then they will find an employer willing to pay them $100k. If they can't find an employer willing to pay $100k then that means that the free market determined the individuals labor is not worth $100k. 

  If someone is worth $100k, why does the employer need their salary history?

tuphat said:   
Glitch99 said:    If their Target salary is $50k, but you currently make $55k, they can't offer you $60k to convince you to say yes; they're stuck with the first person who will say yes to $50k.

 


Not an apologist for this law, but: I think the more realistic scenario is that employer effectively decides that $50k is the "right" salary for a particular job, and makes $50k offer to first choice Candidate A. If Candidate A wants the job but also wants more than $50k, it's incumbent on him/her to tell prospective employer that he/she wants more money, and they negotiate from there.  If they can't agree, employer moves to Candidate B.

I think the overall assumption is that the candidate's prior/current salary shouldn't set the price of the new job.  The law is a blunt instrument approach to what is actually a pretty good objective, viz. let the market set the price.
  

  If that will fly, then this is a feel good, fo nothing law.  Which is fine.

But if it is a serious initiative, then much, if any, variation from that salary the employer disclosed upfront will be at best strongly frowned upon. There's no reason to prohibit asking about previous salary, but still allow previous salary to be factored in to an offer - a person who makes more will use the fact they make more as leverage for a higher offer, while a person who makes less will not disclose they make less and thus not have any leverage for a higher offer.

Skipping 31 Messages...
tuphat said:   
Evilmagus said:   Hiring manager here at a big corp. One of the questions that our recruiters ask candidates on the first interview is "what salary range are you looking for?" or some variation of that to see if the candidate's expectations are in the same ballpark as our internal numbers for a given position. I don't have any scientific data to back this up, but I am guessing most candidates use their current salary as the anchor for the new salary range.

This law wouldn't change that approach.

  If you were interviewing me, I'd say something like "commiserate with the position" and ask you what your "internal numbers" are for the position we're discussing.

 
That's a perfectly valid answer, although not too many folks take that route.  I've seen it cut both ways. 



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