Oregon Bans Employers from Asking about Salary History in Job Interviews - UPDATED

By Michael Klazema on 10/25/2017

On June 1, 2017, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2005 “The Oregon Equal Pay Act” that made Oregon the first state in 2017 to prohibit employers from asking for applicants’ salary histories during the hiring process. The new act prohibits employers from paying employees less compensation based on their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age.

Under ORS Chapter 659A, it is an unlawful practice for an employer or prospective employer to:

  • Screen job applicants based on current or past compensation;
  • Determine compensation for a position based on current or past compensation of a prospective employee; and
  • Seek the salary history of an applicant or employee from the applicant or employee from the applicant or employee or a current or former employer of the applicant or employee.

The employer may request a prospective employee for a written authorization to confirm prior compensation after the employer makes an offer of employment that includes an amount of compensation.

The provision prohibiting employers from seeking salary history already took effect on October 6, 2017. In addition, the provision allowing civil actions against employers who seek salary history are not permitted until January 1, 2024.

What This Means to You:

  • This act applies to all employers in Oregon. 
  • Employers may not seek compensation history information from job applicants.
  • An employer is permitted to request an applicant for written authorization to confirm prior compensation after the employer makes an offer of employment that includes an amount of compensation.

The new act is accessible here for review:


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