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Metro Nashville Removes Salary Questions from Job Applications in Effort to Address Gender Pay Gap

August 25, 2017

On the eve of Women’s Equality Day, Mayor Megan Barry is pleased to announce changes to Metro’s Human Resources procedures, which for many years prompted applicants to list their previous salaries. As of July of this year, questions about previous salaries are no longer included in job applications for prospective Metro employees, which is a growing national best practice intended to reduce and eliminate the gender pay gap.

“Salaries should be set based on abilities and qualification, not on how much someone made at their last job,” said Mayor Barry. “By eliminating salary questions from the application process, women and people of color, who may have been victims of pay discrimination at their previous jobs, will be on a more equal footing with other applicants and employees.”

Earlier this year, District 17 Councilmember Colby Sledge, in conjunction with Chief Diversity Officer Michelle Hernandez-Lane and Mayor Barry’s Gender Equity Council, asked that Metro Human Resources examine and explore the possibility of removing salary history from Metro’s job applicant process. After careful review of the Civil Service rules and policies as well as related procedures, Metro Human Resources worked with their applicant vendor partner, NeoGov, to remove the salary history from our processes. We believe this effort is another important step in supporting the Metropolitan Government’s goal of promoting pay equity for all.

"If you can do the job, then it shouldn't matter what you got paid at your last place,” said Councilmember Sledge. “I'm very thankful to Mayor Barry, Michelle Hernandez-Lane, John Kennedy and Shannon Hall for their dedication to closing the wage gap and paying our Metro employees what they're worth."

In April of 2016, the National Partnership for Women & Families released a report showing that in Tennessee, women are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. This pay gap is even more prevalent among African-American women and Latinas, who earn 69 cents and 51 cents, respectively, compared to white, non-Hispanic men. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org/GAP