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Pay equity is the concept that jobs with 
equal responsibilities and requirements 
should offer equal compensation.



Job offers based on salary history often do not accurately reflect applicants’ qualifications and capabilities or industry standards for similar positions. 


Asking a worker about their salary and relying upon that information when making a job offer can perpetuate any previous disadvantages that worker experienced in the market.


When employers factor salary history into the hiring process, 
it disproportionately affects women, people of color and those who have been historically underpaid due to discrimination or other reasons.


The Ban on Salary History Inquiries prohibits Columbus employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s current or previous salary, beginning March 1, 2024. If salary history information is offered, employers may not rely solely on that information when making a job offer. 

This legislation prevents employers from unfairly considering factors such as historical inequalities and biases in hiring decisions. It encourages employers to extend job offers based upon what the job seeker is worth today rather than the amount at which they’ve been valued in the past or the lowest amount at which the employer can secure a worker to fill a particular role. 

This legislation applies to all employers headquartered in Columbus or with a Columbus office, or to any position for which the majority of work will occur in Columbus.

Practice Areas


Columbus employers shall not: 

  • Inquire about salary history

  • Screen applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits or other compensation

  • Rely on an applicant’s salary history to determine compensation and contracts

  • Refuse to hire or otherwise disfavor an applicant for not disclosing salary history



A potential employer should never ask about  your salary history if you are covered under this legislation. If asked about your salary history, you may:

  • Refuse to disclose your past wages, benefits or other compensation to the employer without retaliation

  • File a complaint with the community relations commission within six months of the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice

  • Which employers does this legislation apply to?
    The ban on salary history inquiries applies to businesses with 15 or more employees in Columbus.
  • Does this still apply to remote positions?
    If the employer has a physical presence in Columbus, the legislation applies.
  • Does this apply to internal transfers or promotions?
    The ban on salary history inquiries does not apply to applicants seeking a new position with their current employer.
  • Have other areas implemented similar legislation?
    21 states, and even more municipalities, have implemented at least some form of a ban on salary history inquiries.
  • What if an applicant wants to share their salary history?
    Job seekers may share their salary history if they so choose, and employers may take this information into consideration.
  • What should an applicant do if asked about their salary history?
    If an employer inquires about salary history, the applicant may file a complaint of discrimination with the Columbus Community Relations Commission.
  • What happens when an applicant files a complaint about an employer?
    The Columbus Community Relations Commission staff will investigate the complaint to determine if violations of the salary history ban have taken place, work with the employer to eliminate those practices and mayrefer the complaint to the City Prosecutor to evaluate for criminal prosecution if those practices continue.The Community Relations Commission is not a law enforcement entity.
  • As an employer, what is the best way to talk to a job applicant about salary?
    Be transparent about the salary range intended for the position, and ask the candidate about their salary expectations.
  • As a job seeker, what strategies can I use to negotiate my salary?
    Do some research before an interview to understand the industry standard for similar roles. Don’t be afraid to ask about the salary range intended for the position.
  • If a candidate provides their salary history in a job interview, may the employer discuss further?
    If an applicant discloses their salary history voluntarily and unprompted, the subject may be discussed.
  • Does the employer need to have an office address in Columbus?
    Employers that do not have a Columbus office are not affected by this legislation. Even if they employ Columbus residents, if the employer has no physical Columbus presence, they are exempt from the Salary History Ban.
  • Are there job titles and roles that will be exempt from this legislation?
    The following exemptions apply: Applicants for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer, or applicants who have previously worked for the employer Federal, state and local government employers other than the City of Columbus Positions where compensation is established by collective bargaining Instances where a federal, state or local law specifically authorizes the reliance on salary history to determine an employee’s compensation




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