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Michigan Bars State Employer Inquiries into Salary History

One week after taking office, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a directive that prohibits state departments and agencies from asking about current or previous salaries until after extending a conditional offer of employment with proposed salary. Executive Directive No. 2019-10, intended to ensure equal pay for equal work among state employees, went into effect immediately upon receiving the governor’s signature on January 8, 2019. The directive also prohibits public employers from searching public records databases to obtain an applicant’s current or previous salary information. The directive does not prevent an applicant from volunteering salary information; however, the state cannot consider an applicant’s refusal to do so in any employment decision. The state may verify salary information only if the applicant voluntarily provides the information or verification is required by applicable law.

Less than a year ago, former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that prevented local governments from regulating the questions employers could ask during job interviews, essentially blocking city or county regulations prohibiting employers from inquiring about salary history information. See our previous blog: A Ban on Salary History Bans: Michigan Bars Local Governments from Prohibiting Such Inquiries. Wisconsin passed a similar bill last year. Such bills ostensibly prevent a patchwork quilt of local salary history regulations being passed where such a regulation has not yet been passed at the state level, such as in New York. See:

New York City Enacts Law Prohibiting Pre-Employment Inquiries into Salary History

Localities and the Salary History Ban: Next Stop, Westchester County, New York

New Suffolk County, NY, Bill Bans Inquiry into Salary History

Localities and the Compensation History Ban: Next Stop Albany County

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 11


About this Author

K. Joy Chin, Jackson Lewis, wage benefits lawyer, affirmative action attorney

Joy Chin is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining the firm in 1995, her practice has been devoted exclusively to employment law and related litigation and the firm’s regulatory practice.

Ms. Chin has litigated matters before local, state and federal administrative agencies and in state and federal courts. Ms. Chin is a frequent speaker on affirmative action and creating lawful diversity programs and spends much of her time counseling employers on issues relating to diversity,...

Tiffany Buckley Norwood, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Employment Litigation Attorney

Tiffany A. Buckley-Norwood is a Principal in the Detroit, Michigan, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on employment litigation and counseling.

Ms. Buckley-Norwood represents employers in federal and state lawsuits, administrative proceedings and appellate cases regarding FMLA leave and breach of contract, in addition to claims based on discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She also counsels HR professionals and business leaders on best employment practices, drafts employee handbooks and agreements, conducts liability prevention training at employer worksites, and advises employers on compliance with the OFCCP’s affirmative action requirements for federal contractors.