Cities and states across the U.S. are looking to enact laws that would potentially help job applicants. The laws seek to prevent employers or hiring managers from asking job applicants about their previous wages. This has long been something discussed in job interviews, purportedly to give the potential employer an idea of how much to pay the applicant if hired, or rather how much the applicant is worth. This generally results in applicants being placed in earning categories based on their previous wages - without much room to negotiate for a pay raise right off the bat, or to be paid what they are due based on the new job responsibilities. But more importantly to lawmakers supporting these laws is that this will hopefully help women and minorities who make 80 cents on the dollar to what a white male earns in the same occupation. Supporters of the law say that when employers are allowed to ask about previous wages and salaries, women and minorities are paid based on their previous wages that were quite possibly lower than they should have been and that discrepancy, and therefore discrimination, is carried forward from job to job. Opponents of these new potential laws argue that employers have Free Speech rights to discuss and ask whatever they want to during interviews, and others say that the laws will not truly address the real issue of pay imbalance. While these laws may not obliterate the issues involving equal pay between men and women and minorities, it could be a step in the right direction and certainly cannot hurt the chances for women and minorities to earn wages equal to white men.
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