“What was the pay on your last position?”. Beginning 1/1/18, this question or any other inquiries into an applicant’s salary history will become ILLEGAL in California.

On 10/12/2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 168, which prohibits employers from seeking salary history information or relying on the salary history information when considering applicants for employment. Other states and cities including Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York City, and San Francisco, have already passed similar laws.

Employer’s often use salary information to match their job offers to market rates. However, others argue that allowing employers to seek salary history information widens the gap in salary between genders. The argument is based on the premise that if men have historically been compensated at higher rates than women, the trend will continue as employers base an applicant’s pay on previous salary.

What does this mean for HR professionals?

  • Handbooks should be updated by removing any language that speaks of acquiring salary history information during pre-employment stages.
  • Employment applications should be modified by removing the box that gives employers authorization to seek salary history.
  • When Verifications of Employment (VOE’s) and Reference Checks are conducted, recruiters should skip questions regarding prior compensation.
  • All personnel who are involved in the hiring process should be trained on the new law’s requirements.

Do not hesitate to contact EveryBusines HR Essentials, Inc. for more information!