skip to content
Primary navigation
A young asian women interviews with potential employers

Close the Gender and Racial Pay Gap

Beginning January 1, 2024, employers should rely on an applicant’s skills, education, certifications, licenses, and other qualifications, as well as the job market, to set pay. This new law prohibits employers from asking about or considering an applicant’s past or current pay during the hiring process.  

This new law will bring Minnesota one step closer to narrowing the gender and racial pay gap.

Women, people of color, and Indigenous people are persistently paid less than white men. 

Using past pay to determine future pay contributes to and reinforces Minnesota’s pay disparities because when someone’s future pay is locked to their past pay, the cycle of unequal pay impacts them throughout their life.​

Report Violations

Fast Facts

  • Employers should base pay on market conditions and the applicant's skills, education, and other qualifications -- not past pay.
  • This new law applies to all public, private, and nonprofit employers in Minnesota.
  • The law applies to all job applicants, including current employees seeking an internal promotion or transfer and full and part time employees.
  • The law does not prohibit a job applicant from voluntarily disclosing their pay history to negotiate higher pay. 
  • The pay history law can be found in the Minnesota Human Rights Act at 363A.08.8

Employers: What to Know

  • Review applicant materials. Review employment applications and interview questions to make sure they do not ask for current or past pay. If they do, remove that information.
  • Make clear how you will set pay. Decide what information other than past and current pay will be used to determine an applicant’s pay. This could include, for example, the market and an applicant's skills, education, and other qualifications.
  • Communicate this change. Communicate this change to all employees – including leadership, human resources, and supervisors. Provide extra training to anyone responsible for hiring. Early communication can help prevent any confusion or violations once the law goes into effect.
  • Consider using a compensation form: Hiring managers can consider using a compensation form for every candidate to demonstrate consistent considerations when making decisions around wages and salary. This compensation form could include make up of applicant pool, number of candidates meeting qualifications, and number of candidates interviewed; information about the candidates such as number of years of relevant experience, special training, education, certifications, licensures, specialized skills, or other important qualifications; labor market conditions; considerations around internal employee wages; and salary/wage recommendations.

Job Applicants: What to Know 

  • Report Violations: Anyone who believes they were asked about their past or current pay during the hiring process should complete this online form
  • Job applicants can voluntarily share past and/or current pay to negotiate higher pay: You can voluntarily, without prompting, share your past and/or current pay with a prospective employer. You might choose to do this to negotiate for higher pay. Your pay history cannot be used by an employer against you for lower wages but can be used by you to support higher wages – remember to include information about the market rate, your skills, education, and other qualifications as part of the conversation.

Learn More Through Scenarios.

Navigate through these eight scenarios where you’ll encounter hypothetical stories, questions, and answers.

decorative icon 1

Scenario 1

Employer asks applicant for employment history

decorative icon 2

Scenario 2

Employer makes pay history question optional

decorative icon 3

Scenario 3

Employer asks applicant what they hope to make

decorative icon 4

Scenario 4

Employer wants to ask HR for internal applicant’s current hourly wage for an internal job offer

decorative icon 5

Scenario 5

Applicant voluntarily share current or past wages

decorative icon 6

Scenario 6

Hiring Manager knows job applicant’s wages

decorative icon 7

Scenario 7

Office is located outside of Minnesota, remote worker in Minnesota

decorative icon 8

Scenario 8

Hiring a contractor

back to top