California Bans Employers from Asking about Salary History

On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 168 which prohibits California employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. The new act will apply to all employers, including state and local government.

Under Section 432.2 of the Labor Code, an employer cannot:

  • Rely on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer an applicant; or
  • Orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, seek salary history information including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment.

If the applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses their salary history, the employer may rely on the disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for the applicant. Upon reasonable request, an employer must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment.

The new act’s effective date is January 1, 2018.

What This Means to You:

  • This act applies to all employers in California.
  • Employers may not seek compensation history information from job applicants.
  • Employers may rely on the compensation history of the job applicant only when the applicant voluntarily discloses their wage history.

The act is available here for review:

Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.

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