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California Enacts Salary History Prohibition Law

New Law Effective January 1, 2018

California has enacted a law that generally prohibits employers from relying on an applicant's salary history. Further details are presented below.

Salary History Prohibition and Additional Rules
An employer is prohibited from relying on the salary history information of an applicant as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer him or her. An employer is also prohibited from—orally or in writing—seeking salary history information (including compensation and benefits) about an applicant.

An employer (upon reasonable request) must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment. The law does not allow prior salary—by itself—to justify any disparity in compensation.

The law does not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information to a prospective employer. If an applicant does as such, the law does not prohibit that employer from considering or relying on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for that applicant.

The law is effective January 1, 2018. Click here to read the text of the law.

To review other laws specific to California, visit the State Laws section, click on California, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.