This law is a new statewide salary history inquiry law that will largely restrict employers in the state from seeking and relying upon salary history information obtained from applicants during the hiring process. The law will apply to all private and public sector employers and will prohibit employers from:
- relying on salary history as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer; or
- seeking, orally or in writing or through an agent, salary history information about an applicant.
The law will also require an employer, upon reasonable request by an applicant, to provide the pay scale for a position. The law further provides that if an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history information to a prospective employer, that employer may then consider and/or rely on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for that applicant. However, the law reiterates that, consistent with the state’s currently existing equal pay law, employers may not rely upon voluntarily disclosed prior salary, by itself, to justify any disparity in compensation.
In passing this law, California joins Oregon, Massachusetts and Delaware and the cities of San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia in enacting salary history inquiry restrictions. (AB 168.)