Gender Pay Transparency Act Vetoed. On Sunday, October 15, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the California Gender Pay Gap Transparency Act, AB 1209, a proposed law that would have required (1) large employers in California to collect and disclose data on how they’re paying men and women differently, and (2) the California Secretary of State to publicly post the data on a state government website. The proposal – previously deemed a “job killer” by the California Chamber of Commerce, and characterized as the “public shaming of California employers” bill by many – was strongly opposed by the business community. The Governor expressed concern about the proposal’s ambiguous language and expressed concern that the ambiguity “could be exploited to encourage more litigation than pay equity.”
Salary Inquiry Ban Approved. While he vetoed the Gender Pay Transparency Act, on October 12, 2017, the Governor approved another pay equity bill, AB 168, which prohibits employers from asking applicants about their prior salary, compensation, and benefits. The employer may consider prior salary information the applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses, in setting pay. AB 168 will also require employers to provide the position’s pay scale to a job applicant upon reasonable request. The new law adds section 432.3 to the Labor code, and will go into effect January 1, 2018.
Ahead of the January 1, 2018 deadline, California employers should review their job applications as well as interviewing and hiring forms and processes to ensure compliance with AB 168. California employers should also train HR, supervisors/managers, and other individuals involved in the interviewing and hiring process on the new law.