Focusing In On California’s Salary History Ban

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Earlier this summer, Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 2282 into law to clarify some confusion surrounding California’s salary history ban. The law amends Labor Code Section 1197.5 and 432.3, which together controls the use of salary information in hiring and promotion decisions.

Labor Code Section 1197.5 makes it impermissible for employers to pay employees of one sex less than the other for substantially similar work and prohibits prior salary from justifying any disparity in pay; while Labor Code Section 432.3 prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicants salary history and requires employers to provide applicants with a salary range upon “reasonable request.” A.B. 2282 sought to

clarify the law by, predominantly, defining its key terms.

New Amendments

Beginning January 1, 2019, Labor Codes 1197.5 and 432.2 are amended as follows:

  1.  “Applicant” is defined as an individual who seeks employment with the employer;
  2. Pay scale” means the salary or hourly wage range and does not include bonuses or equity ranges;
  3.  “Reasonable request” means a request made by an applicant after the initial interview.

Further, while employers are still prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history, they may inquire into salary expectations.  The law also clarifies that an employer may consider a current employee’s existing compensation as one factor in determining future compensation if that decision is not based upon sex, race or ethnicity, but instead is also justified by one or factors including seniority, merit, quality of work, education, training, or productivity.

Final Thoughts

Employers should ensure that those involved in hiring, including agents such as recruiters, are kept abreast of the developments in California’s salary history ban.

There are a number of experienced HR professionals available to consult with you on this topic. However, if you have a general question or would like to consult one of our attorneys on this issue, Contact Novare Law Group.

Posted by: Douglas Field on August 28, 2018