Wage Rules And Salary History

Vu Le is one of the most consistent culture bloggers around today but it is particularly enjoyable when he takes on some of the most sacred of cows inside nonprofit management. His post from 8/15/2016 about the myriad of problems related to requiring job applicants to list salary history is exactly the sort of thing the field as a whole needs to hear (over and over again until the practice is gone for good).

Adaptistration People 038Le’s post examines all of the relevant point behind why the practice is not only hurtful to employees but it’s ultimately against the best interest of the employer. He rounds things off with a call to action to garner support for proposed legislation in New York City that would ban employers for asking about job applicant’s salary histories.

Granted, we’re a long way off from Le’s ideal of making the practice illegal in every US state but for who think it may be a pipe dream, don’t forget the recent changes that brought massive reform to long stagnant wage rules governing eligibility for overtime. Those kick in on 12/1/2016.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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2 thoughts on “Wage Rules And Salary History”

  1. Thanks, Drew. Our sector has way more influence than we give ourselves credit for. We need to use it to change inequitable practices. Asking for people’s salary history when making a job offer is like wearing bell-bottoms. Sure, it may work for some people. But in these days and age, it usually just looks ridiculous.

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