New Laws ’18, part 3!?!

In our ongoing series of new laws for California employers, here’s a brief summary of some more . .

Salary History

A new law for 2018 is the addition of Labor Code §432.3, which bars employers from relying upon an applicant’s salary history as a factor in determining whether to offer to hire the person, or what compensation to offer.  Employers cannot ask, verbally or in writing, personally or through an agent/recruiter, about salary history.

If the applicant volunteers the information without prompting, the employer could consider it.  (But I suggest you make it clear you don’t want such volunteered information as you don’t want a dispute about whether the person felt pressured to volunteer by the company, or an agent).  Also, if the information is publicly available, the employer can consider it.

The law also incorporates the 2017 amendments to the Equal Pay Act to confirm that salary history, by itself, cannot justify any disparity in compensation based on race, gender, or national origin.

Finally, if an applicant makes a reasonable request for the employer’s pay scale, the employer must provide it.

Employers will want to review their employment applications to remove any request for information about salary history (and information about criminal history per the new “ban the box” rules).

Additions to the Harassment Prevention Training Requirements

Government Code §12950.1 is amended to provide that Harassment Prevention trainings, required for companies with more than 50 employees, include training on the prevention of harassment on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.   (Not to #humblebrag, but my trainings already incorporated this).

And a Reminder of Required Minimum Wage Increases  

On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage for employers with 26 or more employees will increase to $11.00 per hour. The minimum annual salary for an exempt employee at a “larger” employer will increase to $45,760.

For smaller employers (25 or fewer employees), the minimum wage will increase to $10.50, and the minimum salary for an exempt employee will be $43,680.

The Computer Software Professional minimum wage will increase to $43.58 (or $7,565.85 per month; $90,790.07 per year).  Don’t forget, this is a very specific exemption that requires strict compliance with the defined duties.  And. . . it is only an exemption from overtime; these employees must still be provided meal and rest breaks.

This blog is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all new laws, but rather is to highlight some of the new changes. 

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