News & Insights

California Joins List of States and Municipalities Banning Salary Inquiries

October 30, 2017

Starting on January 1, 2018 employers with operations in California will no longer be able to seek or rely on salary information. Governor Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 168, which adds Section 432.3 to the California Labor Code. Section 432.3 prohibits salary inquiries from employers and their agents. The law also requires employers to provide job applicants, upon reasonable request, with a pay scale for the positions they seek. The law allows employers to rely on salary data, provided that the candidate volunteered it; however, employers should exercise caution before relying on this history.

This law is not unique to California; Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon all have similar laws, as do Puerto Rico and the cities of New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The intention of these prohibitions on salary inquiries is to eliminate inequality in pay. Salary histories are sometimes a factor in setting a new hire’s salary. This may perpetuate prior pay discrimination by a prior employer. Employers with locations in these areas should review their application materials and update them to avoid liability.


About Mark Knoth ...

Mark has over 20 years of experience representing employers in a wide range of employment and labor law matters.  Mark chairs the firm’s Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits & ERISA Practice Group.

On a daily basis, Mark counsels and advises business owners, managers and human resources professionals on workplace issues including civil rights and anti-discrimination laws; employee discipline; wage and hour; overtime; employee leaves; reasonable accommodations; veterans issues; picketing; secondary boycotts;  reductions in force; drug testing; unemployment compensation; affirmative action; and union organizing campaigns, among other matters. He additionally drafts employee policies, handbooks, contracts, and covenants not to compete, and investigates threats of violence, allegations of harassment, and other employee misconduct. Email Mark.

About Katherine Cser ...

Katherine is a commercial litigator who focuses her practice on a wide variety of commercial disputes in federal and state courts and arbitral proceedings.  Katherine has experience in commercial transactions litigation, as well as discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour laws, medical leave laws, restrictive covenants, intellectual property and related tort claims. Email Katherine.

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