In some states, employers can’t ask you about your salary history.
It’s a law. Employers in these states now have no choice but to bury their heads in the sand and refrain from asking.
You can refrain from sharing too. It’s your right to do so in those states.
ON THE OTHER HAND……
You can also share.
You can be transparent about your past compensation.
You can be clear and candid about what your expectations are for any future offer AND you can spell out what components of compensation are important to you.
It’s your choice.
The relationship you have with your employer is one of the most important ones you’ll have in your life behind your family, your significant other, and your closest friends.
The recipe for success in personal relationships extends to your relationship with your employer.
If you want to start off the relationship in an evasive, distrustful manner("If I share what I make now, they’ll take advantage of me and low-ball me"), play along with the law in your state.
Be forewarned - you’re operating from a position of fear.
Any time you operate from a position of fear, you’re minimizing your chance of success…in any endeavor.
If you want to build a relationship with a potential employer with a firm foundation, start it off in an honest and open and straightforward manner, do this:
Disclose your current compensation.
Disclose your expectations for any future offer. Not an ultimatum, not emotionally charged, no chip on your shoulder.
Stop, pause, deep breath, relax.
If they resist, encourage dialogue - encourage a response, encourage more discussion, avoid ultimatums.
It’s not worth going down the path if you don’t get the sense they’re at least open to an honest dialogue about your expectations relative to your skill-set, others they are looking at, and what they’re able to afford.
You can always say no at any stage in the process - that’s also your right.
The government has restricted employers from acting like an “adult” in employer/candidate interactions in these states. But…if you declare your current compensation and history, you allow the employer to be an adult. You give them the chance to do the right thing.
If the employer takes advantage of the situation and low-balls you because of your past or your gender or your age, walk away. F*** them. Is that someone you’d want a long-term relationship with?
If the employer says you’re not worth what someone else is because of your skill-set, it might be true. It might not. Regardless, now you can talk about it. That’s healthy! That’s how relationships work - that’s how relationships evolve. You may learn something along the way.
If the employer ghosts you after you disclosed your compensation history, is that someone you want to work for? At the first sign of adversity, they disappear? Is there anything attractive and endearing about that behavior?
So if you’re in a non-disclosure state, remember YOU are an adult and YOU have 100% control over what you say, do, and accept.
If you hide behind a law thinking it will protect you from being disappointed or being treated unfairly, you’re mistaken.
You’re also undercutting your own personal power to say yes or no and to control your own destiny and work with companies and people who share the same character as you.