Prohibition on Pay History Inquiries

Submitted by Martin Kappenman, Attorney and shareholder at Peters, Revnew, Kappenman & Anderson, P.A., a firm representing employers in a full range of employment law issues and litigation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Minnesota Human Rights Act has been updated to include a new provision that prohibits employers from inquiring into, considering, or requiring disclosure for a job applicant’s pay history, effective January 1, 2024. For employment covered by collective bargaining agreements, the ban takes effect upon the implementation of collective bargaining agreements that occur after January 1, 2024. 

Employers cannot ask about a job applicant’s previous earnings. However, this law does not apply if the applicant’s pay history is available through public records, unless the employer sought those records with the intent of obtaining pay history for the purpose of determining compensation. 

While employers may not ask about pay history, applicants are free to voluntarily disclose. If an applicant decides to disclose their pay history, the new provision allows employers to consider or act on that information as a basis to offer a higher wage or salary than initially planned.  

Employers are still allowed to provide applicants with information on wages, salary, benefits, or compensation offered in relation to a job position. Employers may also engage in discussions with applicants regarding their expectations or requests for compensation.

Practical Considerations

It’s important for employers to ensure their hiring practices comply with the new law. This may involve updating job application forms to remove questions on pay history, training HR, and implementing new policies. 

If you have questions regarding the above or any other employment-related concerns, please contact Martin Kappenman at 952.921.4603 or [email protected], or any other attorney at Peters, Revnew, Kappenman & Anderson, P.A.

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