Can Employers Demand Your Salary History in a Job Interview?

Unless you’re nuts, chances are good you don’t enjoy searching for a new job. There are countless hours of internet research, time spent obsessing over your resume, and long drives for interviews that often don’t end with a call back.  If and when you do make it to the interview, there’s a lot of tough questions – such as “How much did you make at your last job?” Ouch….

Thankfully, changes in California law have brought a tiny bit of relief to beleaguered job seekers who already have a lot to deal with when finding a career. Employers are no longer allowed to ask about a job applicant’s salary history. 

Be sure to check out Branigan’s video (also below) on this topic or keep reading to find out and what this means for employees. If you have questions about your own employment situation, contact our office to find out if we can help.

What California Law Says About Salary History in Applications

California Labor Code§432.3 (a) states the following:

“An employer shall not rely on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment or what salary to offer an applicant.”

Subsection (b) further states:

“An employer shall not, orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, seek salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment.”

What this Law Means for Employees

This law was designed to strengthen the equal pay act. It’s long been known that women are more likely to be paid less than men. The same goes for people of color when compared to white employees. This law was designed to make it more difficult to continue this practice by allowing workers to keep their salary history private.

What if You’re Asked About Your Salary History?

Keep in mind that If you find yourself applying for a job and are asked questions about your salary history, the employer either doesn’t know the law, or is intentionally flaunting the law. While it’s your decision alone whether or not to discuss your salary history, you might want to think twice about working for a company that starts things off on the wrong foot.

It’s also important to remember the law doesn’t prohibit applicants from sharing salary history with prospective employers. The decision is yours, and you don’t have to share this information.

Have Questions? Watch Branigan’s Video, and Call and Attorney

Be sure to check out Branigan’s video on Labor Code §432.3. If you have questions about labor law, or you believe your employer has acted unlawfully, contact the officeof Branigan Robertson to schedule a consultation.

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