EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


San Francisco Bars Employers Asking Applicants for Pay History

Taking a cue from the California Equal Pay Act (2016), San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has passed a city-wide “Parity in Pay Ordinance” promoting gender wage equality by restrictions on what an employer can ask a job applicant on his/her pay history.

Effective July 1, 2018, the ordinance prohibits covered businesses from:

  • Inquiring about an applicant’s salary/pay history.
  • Deciding whether to hire a prospective employee based on previous pay rates.
  • Relying on an applicant’s pay history when deciding what wage rate to offer.
  • Retaliating for an applicant’s declining to disclose his/her pay/salary history.

Employers will face penalties and possible legal action should they disregard these limitations.

If an applicant volunteers information about any previous compensation rate, the ordinance bars the employer from using that information to justify paying that person less than a worker of another gender, race, or ethnicity doing substantially similar work under similar working conditions.

Covered employers will have to post a city-directed notice specifying these standards.  Please check the City of San Francisco website to download the notice once the city publishes it.

Assembly Bill 168, containing similar state-wide requirements, is currently making its way through the California Legislature.

For more information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also: Understanding California’s Equal Pay Act.

Cindy Bamforth

August 2, 2017