Business lawyers at Gehres Law Group provide assistance to California organizations in complying with labor and employment regulations, including new laws that are passed in California. Keeping abreast of legal changes is important as new regulations are passed frequently that employers are expected to comply with. For example, AB 168 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 12, 2017 imposing a ban on California employers inquiring about salary history from job applicants.
California Employers May No Longer Ask Applicants About Their Salary Histories
California law currently prohibits discrimination in pay on the basis of a worker’s gender. The Fair Pay Act and other equal rights legislation exists in an attempt to close the continuing wage disparity between men and women. However, while the California Fair Pay Act prohibits prior salary from being used to justify a pay differential between a male and female employee doing substantially similar work, the Fair Pay Act does not prohibit an employer from asking about salary history when hiring or promoting workers.
The state legislature has now recognized that inquiries into salary history often perpetuates this wage gap which results in female workers being paid significantly less, on average, than male workers. Numerous locations throughout the United States, including in Oregon, New York, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Puerto Rico, already prohibit employers from making inquiries into salary history. Some California cities, including San Francisco, also have existing rules that prevent employers from asking about wage history. Now, with the signing of AB 168, a new provision — Section 432.3 — is being added to California’s Labor Code to prevent employers statewide from seeking salary history information.
Employers are not only prohibited from asking applicant’s about their past salary but they are also prohibited from finding out about a candidate’s salary history through an agent. However, there is an exception if salary history is publicly disclosable as a result of the Freedom of Information Act or as a result of the Public Records Act in California.
Employees and candidates are not prohibited by law from voluntarily making the choice to share salary history with a current or potential employer; however, if applicants choose to share this information on their pay, employers may not use the employee’s past salary to justify paying the worker any less than a worker of the opposite gender would be paid for doing the same work. Employers also cannot prompt employees to provide this salary history information and, according to the new law, employers must be willing to provide staff members with information about the company’s pay scale upon request.
Business Lawyers Can Help Companies Comply with Rules and Regulations
The new rule is one of many modifications to California’s labor and employment laws that have occurred in recent years. The trusted and knowledgeable attorneys at Gehres Law Group represent companies who want to ensure they are not inadvertently violating any anti-discrimination rules, wage and hour rules, or other labor laws. To find out more about how business lawyers at our firm can provide assistance to your company in complying with California’s complex framework of labor laws, give us a call at 858-964-2314 or contact us online today.