New California Law Prohibits Employers from Asking Job Applicants about Salary History


On October 12, 2017, Assembly Bill 168, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants for salary history information, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Governor Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2015 on the grounds that it would prevent employers “from obtaining relevant information with little evidence that this would assure more equitable wages.” This time around, the bill enjoyed the support of both parties and the governor.

Governor Brown signed the bill at Women’s Empowerment, a Sacramento non-profit organization for homeless women. The law, designed to narrow the gender pay gap in California, applies to both men and women and is aimed at countering discrimination. Currently, women still make $.79 for every dollar a man earns. California is now the fourth state in the United States to prohibit employers from inquiring about past compensation.

Under the new statute, applicants can volunteer information about their previous salaries and benefits. Only under this circumstance can an employer then take the voluntarily disclosed salary history and consider it when making an offer. The law also requires employers to provide applicants with a salary range for positions upon request.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against in the workplace, or that you are not being paid what you deserve or are owed, please feel free to call Hunter Pyle Law for a free consultation at (510)-444-4400 or