N Carolina State Employers May Not Ask About Salary History

May 07, 2019
Executive Order 93 prohibits state agencies from asking job seekers about their current or previous salary history.
Backgrounds Online | May 07, 2019


Executive Order 93 prohibits state agencies from asking job seekers about their current or previous salary history.

Equal Pay Day In North Carolina

April 2, 2019 was known as Equal Pay Day in North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 93 which addresses a gender-based wage gap in the state. The Governor shared his thoughts on this subject: “Women have strengthened our state and our country for generations, but an unfair wage gap continues to hurt women workers—especially women of color. My administration is taking action to address the gender pay gap among state workers.”

According to a Press Release (PR) issued by the Governor’s office, the median wage for men in North Carolina is $45,000 while women only earn around $36,400. The PR further stated that this gap is even larger for women of color. Executive Order 93 is a step towards fixing that issue.

Executive Order 93

The Order bans all state agencies from asking job seekers about their salary history. It also stipulates that these employers may not use a person’s salary information, if it is known, when determining what compensation to offer.

To help enforce this, the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) will make “best efforts” to ensure state agencies do not use salary information in a “discriminatory manner when making employment decisions.”

Every state employee’s salary is public record in North Carolina. OSHR will monitor salaries to look for potentially discriminatory practices. Barbara Gibson, Director of OSHR spoke in favor of this order. She said: “State government is committed to ensuring that all women have fair and equitable compensation. We appreciate Governor Cooper’s commitment to leveling the playing field for women, who represent a large portion of state government's workforce."

Read the Executive Order.

Salary History In The U.S.

North Carolina is not the only state dealing with gender-based salary disparity issues. Several others have passed laws that prohibit employers from asking job seekers about their current or previous salary. Various cities have also passed similar laws.

To help raise recognition about the wage gap, a group of equal rights advocates started a website called Equal Pay Day. It discusses wage gaps by gender and demographic. The site also has information about Equal Pay Day events throughout the nation.

What Employers Should Know

As new laws are passed to reduce wage gaps, employers should be aware that it may not be legal to ask applicants about their salary history. Even if you don’t operate in a state or city where a law is currently in place, one could be implemented in the future. Employers should document their hiring and screening policies and review them periodically to ensure they continue to cover all relevant laws.

If you are bringing on employees, contractors or volunteers, please contact us. Our team works hard to keep up with laws the impact you. We can help you build background screening packages that are ideal for any position and we provide numerous resources to educate you about laws that are active in your state or industry. Our team is available Monday through Friday from 5am to 6pm PT.