Hawaii Bans Employers from Asking about Salary History

By Michael Klazema on 7/26/2018

On July 5, 2018, Governor David Y. Ige signed Senate Bill 2351 which prohibits Hawaii employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. The new act’s effective date is January 1, 2019, and covers all employers that have at least one employee in that state.

Under new Section 2 of Chapter 378 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, an employer cannot:

  • Inquire about the salary history of an applicant for employment; or
  • Rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for the applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract.

Employers can discuss with the applicant any objective measures of the applicant’s productivity, such as revenue, sales, or other production reports and pay expectations for the job. If the applicant voluntarily and without prompting disclosure of their salary history, the employer may rely on the disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for the applicant and can verify that information.

In addition, the act provides that if the employer performs a background check to verify non-salary related information and the results incidentally disclose the applicant’s salary history, the information cannot be “relied upon during the hiring process for purposes of determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation of the applicant, including the negotiation of an employment contract.”

What This Means to You:

  • This act applies to all employers in Hawaii and will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
  • Employers may not seek compensation history information from job applicants.
  • Employers may rely on the compensation history of the job applicant only when the applicant voluntarily discloses their wage history.
  • Employers can discuss with the applicant the pay expectations or any objective measures of the applicant’s productivity.

The new act is accessible here for review:

Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • February 18

    Many hiring decisions are based mostly on candidates’ past work experiences. Here’s how a background check can verify employers to make sure those hiring decisions are grounded in fact.

  • February 14 As more states legalize various forms of marijuana, past marijuana convictions are still causing concern while uncertainty over substances such as CBD drives new arrests. 
  • February 12 A new bill in the New York State legislature could add new requirements for school employee background checks. Currently, private schools are not required to follow state mandates regarding background checks.
  • February 07 Some parents in El Paso, Texas have been left wondering about the strength of their city's youth sports procedures after a felon fraudulently took funds for a girls' soccer team.
  • February 06 If there is one way that volunteer organizations could serve their communities better, it’s implementing more thorough volunteer screening policies.
  • February 05 Madison County, Illinois has created a new initiative designed to help individuals overcome barriers to employment. Clients of the initiative will be able to explore criminal record expungement among other options.
  • February 01 An OfficeTeam survey found that the two most common forms of resume dishonesty had to do with past employers: job experience and job duties or responsibilities.
  • January 31 During the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have gone without work for more than a month. Some are finding temporary alternatives elsewhere.
  • January 29 A Florida nurse has been arrested for allegedly stealing two types of prescription pain medications from the county jail where she worked. The case highlights the importance of rigorous drug testing procedures for employment situations in which employees have access to prescription drugs.
  • January 24 After the airline failed to adequately disclose to applicants that they would undergo a background check, a court has ruled Delta did not meet its legislative obligations. The settlement highlights the importance of rigorous compliance.