Can California Employers ask Applicants Their Prior Salary History?
On October 12, 2017 the Governor of California signed into law new Labor Code Section 432.3. Generally, which forbids an employer during the application for employment or interview process to ask a potential employee what their previous salary and benefits were. The whole idea is to prevent gender discrimination–namely the idea that if a woman was being paid less in prior employment, the current employer would use that against her and only offer that smaller salary as well.
Now, the California application for employment can only specify what the “pay scale” would be for the new job. So for example, as to job title A, there may be a low, intermediate and high pay range based on seniority or other factors. This would be stated in the application.
These rules apply to any employer, regardless of the number of employees.
But there is an exception: if the employee volunteers the past pay information, the employer can receive this information and use it as a basis for determining the salary for the prospective employee. But be careful here. You cannot suggest or prompt the employee to give this information.