Building Momentum: Equal Pay Win in Maryland

By Monika Dymerski, Public Policy Fellow

On May 8, 2020, Maryland became the latest state to pass legislation banning employer inquiry into prior salary and reliance on prior salary when setting an employee’s new salary. Prior salary or salary history bans are a priority for Equal Rights Advocates, because using a new employee’s previous salary to set their future pay allows pay discrimination to follow women, people of color, and LGBTQI+ people from job to job through their careers.

Since the 2016 election , a total of 16 states, 17 cities and Puerto Rico have passed laws or executive orders prohibiting employers from asking about or relying on prior salary.  

Maryland’s win builds on their existing salary history ban restricted to Montgomery County. Now, with a statewide law on the books, all Maryland employers are banned from seeking or relying on salary history, unless voluntarily provided by the applicant.

Also important for increasing pay transparency, the new law, House Bill 123, requires employers to provide a job applicant the salary range for a position upon request. These provisions mirror laws in other states, such as California

ERA, with our partners in the Women’s Agenda Initiative, is committed to supporting our partners across the country in their policy and advocacy efforts on this important issue. Hear from Jessica Stender, Senior Counsel for Workplace Justice & Public Policy at Equal Rights Advocates, on how salary history bans help close the gender wage gap in an article she wrote for Ms. Magazine

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