New California Law & Salary History

by Michelle Ferber

Governor Brown signed into law a state-wide ban on employer inquiries into an individual’s salary history. Under AB 168, no employer of any size may rely on an applicant’s prior salary history “as a factor in determining whether to offer employment . . . or what salary to offer an applicant.” The definition of salary history is broad and includes both an individual’s rate of compensation as well as other benefits. Importantly, an employer cannot ask for this information orally or in writing. The law contains an exception:  if an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses his or her history to a potential employer. Relying on this exception, however, may result in a subjective inquiry into who raised the issue. Additionally, an employer must upon reasonable request, provide an applicant with the pay scale for the relevant position.

In light of the new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2018, we recommend you review your job application and recruitment processes to ensure compliance with the new regulations.  We are available to review your current process and answer any questions or provide updated materials.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.