California Governor Brown Signs AB 168 to Prohibit Employers from Seeking Salary History of Jobseekers

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On October 12, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law several pieces of legislation to improve services and support for women that included Assembly Bill 168 (AB 168) which prohibits employers in the state from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment and requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request.

“The practice of seeking or requiring the salary history of job applicants helps perpetuate wage inequality that has spanned generations of women in the workforce,” Assemblymember Susan Eggman (13th District) stated in a news release. “AB 168 is a needed step to ensure that my 9-year-old daughter, and all women, can be confident that their pay will be based on their abilities and not their gender.”

AB 168 will prohibit an employer from relying on the salary history information of an applicant for employment in determining whether to offer an applicant employment or what salary to offer an applicant. It does not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily disclosing salary history information and would not prohibit an employer from considering or relying on that information to determine salary.

In addition, AB 168 – which adds Section 432.3 to the California Labor Code – will include state and local government employers and the Legislature and would not apply to salary history information disclosable to the public pursuant to federal or state law. The complete text of AB 168 is available at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB168.

In July of 2017, ESR News reported that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed into law legislation passed the city’s Board of Supervisors called the “Parity in Pay Ordinance” to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their salary history or from considering earnings information in determining whether to hire an applicant and what salary to offer them. The ordinance takes effect July 1, 2018.

As reported previously by ESR News, laws prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about salary history are becoming more commonplace. Examples of states and cities passing salary history laws include Oregon with the Equal Pay Act of 2017 (HB 2005), New York City with Introduction 1253-2016, Philadelphia with Bill No. 160840, and Massachusetts with S.2119, An Act to Establish Pay Equity.

More ESR News Blogs about Salary History Laws

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