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Columbus, OH Bans Wage or Salary History Inquiries of Prospective Employees

By Debra Milstein Gardner - May 31, 2023 9:58:11 AM - 5 MINS READ


Columbus joins Toledo and Cincinnati in banning questions about salary history, but does not require sharing wage information as a condition of employment.

Effective March 1, 2024, employers with at least 15 employees located in Columbus, Ohio may not ask about a prospective employee’s wage or salary history. Employers include job placement, referral agencies, and other employment agencies operating on behalf of an employer. 

An “applicant” is any person who is applying for a job within the geographic boundaries of the city and whose application “in whole or in part, will be solicited, received, processed, or considered in the City of Columbus.” This does not apply to candidates for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer.   

The city ordinance makes it illegal for an employer or business acting on behalf of the employer to: 

  • Ask about a prospective employee’s salary history, including current or prior wages, benefits, or other compensation.   
  • Screen job applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, or other compensation. 
  • Rely on the applicant’s salary history in deciding whether to offer employment or in determining wages, benefits, or other compensation. 
  • Retaliate against an applicant for not disclosing salary history.

OutSolves Take (300 × 80 px) (1)


The City of Columbus, OH ordinance differs from that of Toledo and Cincinnati in that it does not require employers to share the pay scale for the position with applicants after a conditional offer of employment.  

This is another city in Ohio where employers should review and update where necessary their employment applications, hiring practices, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with these prohibitions on salary history inquiries. Employers may also want to train their hiring managers in advance of these new requirements beginning on March 1, 2024. 


Debra Milstein Gardner

Debra Milstein Gardner has worked in the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action (AA) space for the past 43 years while working in the public and private sectors in various human resources compliance roles. She began her career working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and then went to the Marriott Corporation for nine years working in EEO, Affirmative Action and field human resource roles. In 1990, Debra founded Workplace Dynamics LLC providing EEO, AA, and DEI consulting services to government contractors. In 2016, Debra sold the affirmative action portion of Workplace Dynamics to OutSolve LLC and works part-time as a Market Analyst. Debra is a sports fanatic, routing for the Baltimore Ravens and all Virginia Tech Hokie teams. She loves to hike and boat in her mountain and lake community of Lake Lure, NC.

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