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Salary History Ban Coming to Cincinnati

Starting in 2020, Cincinnati, Ohio will join jurisdictions such as New York and New Jersey in adopting a “Salary History Ban”. Salary History Bans typically restrict when, or if, an employer can ask an applicant about the applicant’s compensation history.

Under the Cincinnati Salary History Ban, it is unlawful (with some exceptions) for employers to:

  • Inquire about the salary history of an applicant for employment; or
    Screen job applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, other compensation, or salary histories, including requiring that an applicant’s prior wages, benefits, other compensation or salary history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or
  • Rely on the salary history of an applicant in deciding whether to offer employment to an applicant, or in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract; or
  • Refuse to hire or otherwise disfavor, injure, or retaliate against an applicant for not disclosing his or her salary history to an employer.


The ordinance also requires employers, upon a reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant who has been given a conditional offer of employment.

Even though inquiries about salary history may be restricted, employers may still engage in discussion with the applicant about their expectations with respect to salary, benefits, and other compensation, including but not limited to unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant’s resignation from their current employer.

The full text of the Salary History Ban can be found in the Cincinnati Code of Ordinances.

This ordinance will be effective beginning in April, 2020. This gives you some time to examine this new law with your legal advisors and determine how it may impact you. Verified Credentials will continue to monitor and provide updates as they become available.

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