California prohibits employers from asking applicants about their past salary.

California prohibits employers from asking applicants about their past salary.

As of January 1st, 2018, California has a new bill AB 168– which prohibits California employers from asking job applicants about their past salary. Stated as “an attempt to move closer toward narrowing the gender wage gap,” supporters of this bill suggest if a woman is paid less than a man doing the same job, and a new employer bases her pay on prior salary, gender discrimination can be perpetuated.

Current California law, does engage in such prohibitions, of pay discrimination –but it doesn’t prohibit questions about salary history. The California Fair Pay Act states that prior salary, by itself, cannot justify any inequality in compensation.

The new legislation applies to all public and private-sector employers in California of any size. Employers are prohibited from asking about a job applicant’s previous pay in any of these manners:

-Orally or in writing.
-Through an agent.
If an applicant decides to “voluntarily and without prompting” offer this information, then it is acceptable to be used in consideration of the salary for that applicant (not in determining whether to hire the candidate).

The bill also requires that employers provide pay scale information for the position to an applicant upon reasonable request.

Other states with new/or similar legislation includes:

-New York
-Puerto Rico
-San Francisco

US Information Search- Keeping what matters in Check

You should always check with a trusted legal advisor before making any changes to procedures, but this serves as a good reminder to review your current job application.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding specific application of the information to your own plan.

Content from this article comes from AB 168 as well as summary documents published thereafter.