On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 168 into law. This bill prohibits an employer from seeking or relying upon salary history or other compensatory benefits information of a job applicant to determine whether to hire the individual or what salary/benefits to offer. Employers are prohibited from seeking this information either orally, in writing, personally, or through an agent. The bill would also require an employer to provide the position’s pay scale to a job applicant upon request.
Who does the law apply to?
This law will apply to all California employers, including state and local governments and the Legislature.
Exceptions to the law:
The law does not apply to salary history information that is otherwise disclosable to the public pursuant to federal or state law. Further, if an applicant makes an unprompted and voluntary disclosure of salary history to the prospective employer, the employer may consider that information in determining salary.
When does the law take effect?
This new law takes effect January 1, 2018, and joins the ranks of other laws aimed at similar objectives, including recently enacted legislation in New York City (effective October 31, 2017) and San Francisco (effective July 1, 2018).
Action Items for California Employers:
- Employers should inform all human resource professionals, recruiters, and relevant employees and agents about the new law and provide any necessary training.
- All appropriate personnel should become familiar with the law, including but not limited to, unlawful questions and voluntary disclosures by applicants.
- Employers should review and make all necessary changes to their hiring practices and procedures.
- All questions about salary history must be removed from job applications, background checks, and any other verification inquiries or documentation.
- Employers should complete all necessary internal education and procedural changes prior to the law’s effective date of January 1, 2018.
Full text of AB 168 (California law banning salary history inquiries)
New York City Int. No. 1253-A (now Local Law 67) (New York City law banning salary history inquiries)
San Francisco Ordinance 142-17 (San Francisco law banning salary history inquiries)
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