4 Ways New Pay Equity Laws Are Changing Salary Negotiations

Salary negotiations have changed drastically in eight cities, states, and localities across the United States. In an effort to promote pay equity, employers in locations such as New York City and California are now banned from asking job applicants about their salary history. Following this trend, several companies such as Amazon and Bank of America have begun to proactively ban questions about salary history from their hiring process.

However, this doesn’t mean that discussions about salary are completely off the table. While it’s true that you cannot be prompted to disclose your past earnings, questions about your expectations are still fair game. With the conversation shifting, this is something you must be prepared to discuss in all of your interviews.

Although pay equity legislation has not yet been passed on a national level, various local laws are having wide-spread effects. As a result, it never hurts to be too prepared. Here are 4 ways to approach salary negotiations in light of these new laws:

Do your research:

While these laws do present an opportunity to leverage a higher salary, it’s important to be realistic about what you’re asking for. Since compensation will vary by industry and experience level, do some research prior to your interviews to know what is competitive with market trends. You should also be aware that other factors such as hours, bonus structure, and company size can dictate the salary. To establish a realistic baseline for salary negotiations, you should be educated on all these variables for every company you meet with.

Know your range:

When asked about your salary expectations, it’s essential to have a range in mind. However, it’s important to be strategic in your approach when determining what you are willing to accept for the role. If you aim too high, the employer may think you are being unrealistic. But, aim too low, and you risk selling yourself short.

Be able to justify your worth:

Whether you are first setting your expectations with a prospective employer or you are going to negotiate for a higher salary, you must be able to justify your worth. However, you need to look at it from a factual perspective if you want to be successful. When having this conversation, speak confidentially about your accomplishments and have the context and concrete examples to back them up.

If you already earn a salary that is higher than what your prospective employer is offering, it may make sense to volunteer this information. If you do this, however, know that everything else is fair game. Now that the floodgates are open, the hiring manager can ask you about everything related to salary history, ranging from your benefits to your PTO.

Meet with an expert:

If you’re not sure of where to start, a recruiter can be an excellent resource to turn to. As industry specialists, they have unique insight into what salaries look like across a wide variety of companies. Beyond salary negotiations, having a relationship with a recruiter can benefit you in a number of ways. From connecting you with the latest opportunities to educating you on current market trends, they’re there to help you find success at every step of your career.

The Execu|Search Group has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in this article. If you have any questions about these laws, please reach out to your legal counsel.