San Antonio job seekers hopeful as Biden admin eyes salary history ban

“Our minimum wage of $7.25…we can’t make a living off of it…our cost of living is three times higher.”

SAN ANTONIO – How much did you earn at your previous job? That’s the question many of you dread on job applications. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced new efforts to prevent federal agencies from asking job applicants about their salary history.

The change gives Clarissa Jenkins, 30, of East San Antonio, hope. She said the question keeps people from making more money because it lowers the bar for employers and hurts workers.

“I have three kids. I have real bills. I have a car. $8.25 is not going to get me nowhere…[it’s not] even going to put a dent in my rent,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and needs a job. She told KSAT she’s been searching for the last six months but can’t find a job that pays enough.

“Our minimum wage of $7.25…we can’t make a living off of it…our cost of living is three times higher.”

That’s why Jenkins supports the Biden administration’s plan. However, the regulation would come from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and would only affect federal, not private-sector jobs.

“You need to be somebody that’s resourceful,” said Workforce Solutions Alamo CEO, Adrian Lopez.

Lopez, however, said there are some things job applicants can do to get higher pay.

“If you start to articulate your value to that particular employer…not only that you bring the work experience they’re looking for, but that you can offer up other sorts of skills sets. Those are good ways to…negotiate a better salary,” said Lopez.

As for Jenkins, she told KSAT she’s going back to school to become a dental assistant. Her hope is that she earns enough money to make a better future for her family.

About the Author:

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.