Recently, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a new regulation that prohibits federal agencies from using an applicant’s salary history when making employment offers. This move comes in response to concerns about pay equity and discrimination, and aims to promote fair and equitable pay practices within the federal government.
The regulation, which goes into effect on July 1, applies to all federal agencies and their hiring processes. Under the new rule, federal agencies may not request or consider an applicant’s salary history as part of the hiring process or in making a salary offer. In addition, federal agencies are required to provide applicants with a salary range for the position they are applying for, upon request.
pay equity and eliminating discrimination
The OPM’s decision to ban the use of salary history in federal employment offers is a step towards promoting pay equity and eliminating discrimination in the workplace. Historically, the practice of using an applicant’s salary history to determine their pay in a new position has perpetuated pay disparities, particularly for women and people of color who may have been underpaid in previous positions. By eliminating this practice, federal agencies can ensure that their pay practices are fair and equitable, and that they are not perpetuating discriminatory pay practices.
“These proposed regulations are a major step forward that will help make the federal government a national leader in pay equity,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja in a statement. “Relying on a candidate’s previous salary history can exacerbate preexisting inequality and disproportionally impact women and workers of color. With these proposed regulations, the Biden-Harris Administration is setting the standard and demonstrating to the nation that we mean business when it comes to equality, fairness, and attracting the best talent.”
Paycheck Fairness Act
The new regulation is also consistent with broader efforts to promote pay equity at the federal level. In 2018, Congress passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to address pay disparities between men and women in the workplace. The Act includes provisions that prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who discuss their wages, and requires employers to demonstrate that pay disparities are based on legitimate, non-discriminatory factors.
The OPM’s new regulation builds on the Paycheck Fairness Act by specifically prohibiting federal agencies from using an applicant’s salary history in employment offers. By doing so, the regulation promotes greater transparency and fairness in federal hiring practices, and ensures that federal agencies are setting an example for the private sector to follow.
fair and equitable Hiring Practices
Overall, the OPM’s decision to ban the use of salary history in federal employment offers is an important step towards promoting pay equity and eliminating discrimination in the workplace. By eliminating this practice, federal agencies can ensure that their pay practices are fair and equitable, and that they are not perpetuating discriminatory pay practices. This move is consistent with broader efforts to promote pay equity at the federal level, and sets an important example for the private sector to follow.