Governor Brown has signed a new law regarding salary history ban for San Diego and California employers.  The law, which will take effect on January 1, 2018, prohibits California and San Diego employers from asking questions about or relying upon the salary history information of a job applicant as a “factor” when considering the hire of a new employee and the amount they are to be paid.

The law specifically prohibits employers from asking about salary history, benefits and other information regarding compensation during the interview or hiring process.  The law further requires potential employers to provide a “pay scale” range which is applicable to the position in question when the applicant makes a “reasonable” request for the information.  It is important to note the new law does not prohibit applicants from providing previous salary history when the disclosure is voluntarily and “without prompting.”  It will still be legal for employers to consider this information when determining the new applicant’s potential salary if it is voluntarily disclosed “without prompting.”

The employer defense and general business counsel attorneys at the Watkins Firm provide sound advice and counsel for our clients who are business owners or employment managers.  We ensure their personal actions and the policies and procedures of the company are in full compliance with Federal and California law including all aspects of the Labor Code and California’s Fair Pay Act.

Employers must be especially cautious in positions such as commissioned sales or bonus based performance employment.  Asking for a potential candidate’s previous commissions, W2’s or other associated information are banned by the new law.  Employers will need to give serious consideration to reframing interview questions considering the new law regarding salary history ban, including the applicant’s “need” for additional compensation including commissions, bonuses or benefits.

We invite San Diego and Southern California employers to contact the Watkins Firm to learn more about the new law and the additional requirements it places upon San Diego and California employers and contact us or call 858-535-1511 for a free consultation.

 

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