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CA Law Prohibits Reliance on Salary History

| 2 min read | Tagged: , ,
Former Associate
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Last week, in a law designed to narrow the gender wage gap, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 168, which prohibits all employers[1] from relying on the salary history information of an applicant to determine: (1) whether to offer employment or (2) what salary to offer.  An employer “shall not, orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, seek salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment.”    Upon reasonable request, the employer must provide the applicant the pay scale for the position.  If the applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” provides his or her prior salary, the employer may use this information to “determin[e] the salary for that applicant”; however, the law seemingly prohibits use of the voluntarily disclosed salary in determining whether to offer employment to the applicant.  It is unknown whether this applies to any non-California employer soliciting a California applicant. California employers, including employment/recruiting agencies working with them, may want to consider updating their applications and procedures.

[1] This law applies to both public (state and local government employers, including the Legislature) or private employers but does apply to salary history information disclosable to the public under federal or state law, including the California Public Records Act and federal Freedom of Information Act.