Legal Ability of a Potential Employer to Verify Salary History


How badly do you want a job? In most circumstances, current or previous salary information is very personal, but prospective employers might still try to get you to reveal it. What is the legal ability of a potential employer to verify salary history?

Salary History

Most job application forms include questions about past wages or salary. The prospective employer wants to get an idea of what you are expecting to be paid.

The job interview process can be a very complex process of stages. At first, you must be deemed to be qualified. Do you have the right skills for the job?

During the job interview, the recruiter might try to assess your personality. They want to work with a pleasant person.

If you pass all of these tests, then you might be offered the job. For many workers, the wages are set. For management positions, there might be salary negotiations.

Job Qualifications

Human resources personnel might ask themselves if they can afford your salary. They might have a range of salary options to work with. You probably have an idea of what that salary range is.

At this point, you have a choice. Do you tell them what your previous salary was? Or, do you think it shouldn’t really matter?

Business men always talk about markets. There should be a market for job salaries. You should be paid what you deserve.

Many people want to receive a higher salary for a new job. You are older and wiser, so shouldn’t you be paid more than at your last job?

Can your prospective employer call your previous employer and ask for your salary? Yes.

Must your previous employer legally divulge this information? No. And, they might not want to because it reveals their financial compensation structure.

But other companies might want to help out another company’s Human Resources Department. They know how important it is to get accurate information. So, it really depends on the company.

Salary Negotiations

All negotiations have certain basic boundaries. You give and the other side gives. Salary negotiations are no different.

If the prospective employer doubts your veracity, then why would they want to hire you? Do you want to work for a company that doesn’t trust you?

If you want, you could give the prospective employer a salary range, so they have an idea. That might be the best way to prevent a scene.

Building Trust

The prospective employer does not really have a legal right to verify your salary. If you or your previous company provide the information, it is voluntary – a common courtesy. Most companies will simply not hire you, if they are not satisfied with your response.

The final stage of hiring is building trust. And, of course, your salary negotiation is part of that process. Be wise, prudent and also amicable and you can win over your future employer.