Hawaii: Prior Salary History Inquiries Banned as of January 1, 2019


All Employers with HI Employees


January 1, 2019


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(888) 378-2456

Senate Bill 2351 prevents employers with at least one employee working in Hawaii from making prior salary history inquiries, except under very limited circumstances.  Like most other states implementing such laws, employers must be careful not to ask for, search for, or rely upon prior salary history when setting compensation rates for a new position.

Specific provisions of the bill include:

  • Employers, employment agencies, and agents are prohibited from directly inquiring into an applicant’s current or prior wage, benefits, or other compensation, and may not search publicly available records or reports to discover such information.
  • Employers, employment agencies, and agents are prohibited from relying on such salary history or other compensation information when determining the compensation rate for a new job, unless the applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses salary history.  If voluntarily disclosed, employers may then verify and use such information to set compensation rates.  However, employers must take care not to run afoul of existing equal pay laws.
  • Salary history information does not include:
    • Objective measures of an applicants’ productivity, such as revenues, sales, or other production reports; and
    • Salary history unintentionally discovered while attempting to verify other employment information, so long as the unintentionally discovered information is not used in any compensation decisions.
  • Employers may not prohibit employees from discussing their wages or inquiring about wages, and furthermore, may not take retaliatory action against employees who choose to do so.

Notably, SB 2351 does not apply to employees who apply for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer.

Action Items

  1. Read the full text of Senate Bill 2351 here.
  2. Have hiring managers trained on prohibitions for salary history inquiries.
  3. Remove salary history inquiries from employment applications and job interview questionnaires.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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