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.