DC fair wage bill may hurt contract competition

DC Council Members Brianne Nadeau (D-1), Jack Evans (D-2), Mary Cheh (D-3), Charles Allen (D-6), David Grosso (I-0), Elissa Silverman (I-0), and Robert White (D-0) have introduced a bill to amend DC’s Wage Transparency Act of 2014 to prohibit prospective employers from asking job candidates about their wage history. While I imagine nearly all support the bill’s goal of reducing pay disparities, particularly between men and women, for government contractors who regularly badge-flip employees, the bill could significantly advantage incumbents. Without being allowed to ask for salary information from incumbent workers, competitors will lose an important source of insight into current-contract pricing.

The bill now heads to Silverman’s Council on Labor and Workforce Development.