NYC Wants Employers To Discriminate and Lie To Job Applicants

Every “how to interview” checklist includes a section on negotiating salary. The prospective employer asks you what you make, and you answer. Most of these guides advise you to ask for an amount irrespective of your current salary, but the amount you make now is certainly relevant to both you and your prospective employer. Except to liberals–they want the company planning to hire you to lie.

The New York City Council voted to ban the practice of employers asking employees what they currently earn. They join Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Philadelphia in running your life and limiting your ability to negotiate your own worth.

The measure, aimed at tackling pay inequity, prohibits employers from asking the candidate’s current or former employers about salary, as well as querying public records for it, although applicants can volunteer the information if they choose.

Prospective employers can look at your social media history. They can view your tweets and Facebook posts, get a sense of your political leanings, and they can pretty well know what you make without directly asking you. But they can’t ask you to tell them.

My advice (no charge for this) is to tell them. See, nothing prohibits them from considering what they think you make in determining if they can afford you. But that’s not the reason these busybody liberals, who never tire of running your life, have forced employers to lie to you.

The thinking behind the new law is that when employers ask about an applicant’s salary history, they can end up perpetuating any discrimination that women or people of color may have faced in the past. When employers ask about current or previous salary, they can hear a number that “anchors” them, and then offer to pay some percentage more on a figure that could already be too low. “Being underpaid once should not condemn one to a lifetime of inequity,” James said in a statement.

Some employers use that “what you’re paid now” number to construct an offer, disregarding the reasons you say you’re worth more. Here’s more free advice: don’t work for a company that does this. It doesn’t take a law to follow this advice.

Employers will be incentivized to lie to applicants, telling them that industry salary data doesn’t matter (when it most certainly does), and that not disclosing your salary won’t affect current salary negotiations (when it most certainly will). They’ll also lie telling you that your background, including race and gender and education (which many times are linked), along with your social standing and political views have zero impact on their hiring decision.

Ever heard “we just don’t think you’ll be a good fit” as a rejection reason?

Asking an applicant’s current salary does absolutely nothing to eliminate wage gaps or discrimination. In fact, it highlights and perpetuates those differences. Let’s say a woman applies for job X and refuses to disclose her current salary. And a man applies for the same job and tells them he makes $100,000. Should they assume the woman makes $100,000 also? Or should they offer her the lowball just to see if she accepts it?

Is it fair that the man has a leg up on negotiations–even if the woman is more qualified–because he told them his current salary? Not hardly. What these moral magicians have intended to help reduce wage gaps in fact ensures they continue. Unless applicants are barred from telling prospective employers their salary, and the hiring managers are barred from negotiating a salary, it’s going to result in women (and other minorities) getting shafted worse than if they simply fess up.

But liberals don’t intend to leave this alone. They’d love to just mandate salaries, preferably set by some double-blind mechanism where neither the applicant nor the employer get to decide anything. Giving people a choice on what they’re paid or employers a choice on what to pay them is far too prone to inequity. And engineering outcomes is what liberals are all about.

Remember, this comes from the same group of people who tried to limit how much “sugary drink” you could purchase in one cup. To them, you’re not an individual. You’re a statistical cog designed to fill their desired perfect-world outcome.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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