Delaware first state to enact salary history ban

Gov. John Carney on Wednesday signed a bill banning companies from asking prospective employees about their salary history. Sponsored by House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, the law is intended to close the wage gap between men and women.

Delaware is the first state to enact this type of ban. Massachusetts passed a similar law, but it won’t take effect until next January.

“All Delawareans should expect to be compensated equally for performing the same work,” Carney said. “This new law will help guarantee that across our state, and address a persistent wage gap between men and women.”

Delaware business interests did express concern about the law when it was first announced. But after Longhurst met with members of the State Chamber of Commerce, changes were made to the bill that drew the support of many of the members.

“Closing the wage gap is a major economic issue for our state and we should do everything in our power as legislators to work to even the playing field and empower the next generation of young women,” Longhurst said.

“This new law will protect all prospective employees from having their previous jobs’ salary potentially used against them when seeking work. People should be judged and paid based on their qualifications and not have their previous salaries count against them.”

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