Preparing for the CA Salary History Ban

As I'm sure most people know by now, on Oct 12 of this year, CA Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a statewide ban on employer inquiries into a candidate's salary history. This law is expected to go into effect on Jan 1, 2018, at which point California will be joining Oregon, Massachusetts, Delaware, Puerto Rico, New York City & Philadelphia in enacting this law. See the full law documented here and summary below:

This bill would prohibit an employer from relying on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer an applicant employment or what salary to offer an applicant. The bill also would prohibit an employer from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment and would require an employer, upon reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant for employment. The bill would not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information and would not prohibit an employer from considering or relying on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining salary, as specified. The bill would apply to all employers, including state and local government employers and the Legislature and would not apply to salary history information disclosable to the public pursuant to federal or state law. The bill would specify that a violation of its provisions would not be subject to the misdemeanor provision.

The passing of this law is intended to provide individuals in our state with access to an equal opportunity and merit-based compensation practices. The concept is that if an individual's past compensation was ever based on some form of discrimination or wage disparity, the only way for that person to get to a place of equality is for future employers to stop relying on that past compensation data point when trying to determine future compensation. While there's still a long way to go to achieve our desired state of marketplace equality, we believe this to be a step in the right direction as it will help individuals erase past disparity and provide a more fair and inclusive environment for all of us to experience.

As such and with the full embrace of our mission and values, we'll be taking steps between today and Jan 1 to prepare our full company to operate within the full spirit and compliance of the law. We'll also be going above and beyond our CA expectations by committing to embrace this law NATIONALLY, which means a consistent set of standard practices regardless of which state our recruiter/client/candidate might be located.

For Binc, this includes the following initiatives:

  • Introductory & continuous company-wide training on the new Law and supported practices
  • Documented revisions and training on any adjustments to our standard recruiting practices (candidate screening, management, closing, submissions, client notes, data entry, candidate/client communication, reporting, etc)
  • Client awareness materials & supported training
  • Candidate awareness materials
  • Internal & external compliance checklist
  • Commitment to stay on the front lines of how the law is being embraced and any policy/practice updates that will be material for us to be aware of

We're excited to embark on this journey as a team and as a community and to use this opportunity to both support equal compensation practices and learn/grow together from this evolved recruiting experience.

Boris Epstein