Insights: Alerts California Enacts Law Barring Pre-Employment Inquiries About Salary History
On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law a statute that prohibits employers from seeking salary-history information, including compensation and benefits information, about an applicant for employment. This prohibition applies both to salary-history inquiries made directly by an employer and to such inquiries made by an agent acting on behalf of an employer. The new statute, which applies to all employers in California, also prohibits employers from relying in whole or in part on salary-history information about an applicant in determining whether to offer employment to the applicant or what salary will be offered to the applicant. However, if an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary-history information to a prospective employer, the employer may take that information into consideration in determining the salary to be offered to the applicant. The statute further requires employers to disclose the pay scale for a position to an applicant who makes a reasonable request for that information. The new statute will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
With the enactment of this law, California joins Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Puerto Rico in barring or restricting pre-employment inquiries about salary history. Several municipalities, including New York City and San Francisco, have also adopted such laws. The theory behind these laws is that basing the amount of salary that will be offered to a new hire on the individual’s past compensation tends to perpetuate discriminatory pay rates, particularly with respect to women.
Employers in jurisdictions with laws restricting salary-history inquiries should eliminate questions about compensation on past jobs from employment applications and should train managers, supervisors, and other employees who may participate in applicant interviews to avoid asking about or encouraging applicants to disclose compensation on past jobs.
While we are pleased to have you contact us by telephone, surface mail, electronic mail, or by facsimile transmission, contacting Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship. The formation of an attorney-client relationship requires consideration of multiple factors, including possible conflicts of interest. An attorney-client relationship is formed only when both you and the Firm have agreed to proceed with a defined engagement.
DO NOT CONVEY TO US ANY INFORMATION YOU REGARD AS CONFIDENTIAL UNTIL A FORMAL CLIENT-ATTORNEY RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED.
If you do convey information, you recognize that we may review and disclose the information, and you agree that even if you regard the information as highly confidential and even if it is transmitted in a good faith effort to retain us, such a review does not preclude us from representing another client directly adverse to you, even in a matter where that information could be used against you.