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Nebraska lawmaker proposes ending pay disparity by banning salary history requests

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:52 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - State lawmakers are discussing banning employers from asking an interviewee how much they made at their last job.

Right now, in the state of Nebraska, an employer can ask an applicant how much they made at their previous job.

Experts with the Women’s Fund of Omaha say it is a major reason why the pay gap is so large for minorities and women.

Something State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks says she is fighting against.

“If you are applying for a new job and then you decide to go to a new place and they ask you immediately well how much were you paid at your previous job? Well, they are basing their decision on what to pay for your salary based on the low wage you were at on a previous job,” says Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks.

Brooks introduced LB249 to ban salary history questions.

She hopes employers will eventually have to post what the salary for a job will be, basing it off-budget and qualifications.

The senator says her bill has the potential to make a real impact across the state.

“We know that when job-changers are allowed to increase and not be arbitrarily held back by their previous position that our whole economy in Nebraska thrives and people grow, families thrive. It’s better for all Nebraskans,” says Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks.

The women’s fund of Omaha says this is just one step in helping to fix the pay gap but an important one.

“We know that there remains a portion of the pay gap that is attributed to discrimination and what banning salary history will do is disrupt that. It will give us an opportunity for a fresh start with each new job,” says Tiffany Joekel, Women’s Fund of Omaha Research and Policy director.

If the bill passes, an interviewee would be allowed to voluntarily disclose how much they made at a previous job.

Numerous other states have already passed similar bans.

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