Bill Would Ban Employers from Asking for Salary History
April 8, 2016
CSAC is raising concerns about AB 1676 (Campos), which would prohibit employers, including public agencies, from requesting salary history information about an applicant for employment. We know that counties support gender equity in hiring and compensation, and work diligently to uphold the highest standards of fair pay – including the requirements of SB 358 (Jackson; 2015). However, AB 1676 raises several concerns for counties, and CSAC has conveyed these issues to the author:
- Counties utilize salary steps for classifications, and advancement within those steps is typically based upon time spent in the position and other elements negotiated with bargaining units. These classifications are public, professional, and not open to gender bias.
- Highly qualified job candidates may be less inclined to take a public sector job if the offer does not match their prior salary level. When counties make an initial job offer to an applicant, it is typically at their recruitment step. If the applicant informs the county that they have been making more than that step, many counties then submit a request for approval to make an offer at or better their current salary. These conversations, and the substantiation needed, would not be possible under AB 1676.
- When counties hire or promote internally, MOUs often have a provision that guarantees a certain amount of salary increase in the case of promotion, regardless of experience or skill, based solely on prior earnings. AB 1676 would prohibit counties from asking or seeking this information, meaning that these increase provisions would be non-implementable.
- Evidence is lacking that this method would result in more equitable wages. Counties and other governmental entities already abide by the highest standards of equity in hiring practices.
This bill will be heard in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on April 20. CSAC will keep counties apprised of any developments. Please let us know if you have additional comments on this bill.