Salary History: Demystifying The Ban
Posted September 7, 2018

Last year, AB 168 left employers scratching their heads with unresolved questions about the scope of the salary inquiry ban. Recall that AB 168 prohibits employers from seeking or relying upon salary history information (including compensation and benefits data) about an applicant, or using that information as a factor in determining whether to offer employment or determining what salary to offer. It also required employers to provide candidates with a pay scale upon receipt of a reasonable request. We dubbed this bill “don’t ask, must tell!” To address these unanswered concerns, on July 18, 2018, the legislature passed AB 2282 as a clarifying measure. This bill amends Labor Code Sections 432.3 and 1197.5 to denote that:

  • “Applicant” means an individual who seeks employment, and not a current employee.
  • “Pay scale” means a salary or hourly wage range, and it does not include bonuses or equity ranges.
  • “Reasonable request” for pay scale information mean a request made after the applicant has completed an initial interview.

AB 2282 does two other things: (1) it declares that employers may ask about an applicant’s salary expectations for the position in question; and (2) it brings additional clarity to the pay equity rules by providing authorization for an employer to make a compensation decision based on an employee’s current salary, as long as any wage differential resulting from that compensation decision is justified by one or more allowable factors, such as a seniority or merit system or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production. The full text of AB 2282 can be viewed at:

Employers are cautioned to review their job application forms to ensure there are no questions regarding pay, and train hiring managers and interviewers not to request such information from the employee or from any other source (including former employers). In addition, employers receiving inquiries from prospective employers about a former employee’s pay history are still advised not to provide such information.

If you have any questions regarding the hiring process or any other employment law matter, please call LightGabler at 805-248-7208 or email .

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