AccuSource Blog

San Francisco Bans the Use of Salary History in the Hiring Process

Pay inequity has been a hot-button issue in the United States for many years; with women and minorities historically earning significantly less than their non-minority, male counterparts. Now, in 2017, the topic continues to grow in popularity, but for a very different reason. Rather than simply highlighting the issue of pay inequity, many states and jurisdictions are passing bold laws and ordinances to level the playing field.

On July 19, 2017, San Francisco became one of those jurisdictions when Mayor Ed Lee signed Ordinance No. 170350. The Ordinance, which is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2018, legally prohibits employers from asking about a candidate’s salary history. Additionally, Ordinance No. 170350 prohibits employers, “including City contractors and subcontractors, from disclosing a current or former employee’s salary history without that employee’s authorization unless the salary history is publicly available,” according to the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

These restrictions apply to all employment types, including seasonal/temporary, part-time, contingent work, and work obtained through a staffing agency. However, independent contractors and current employees applying for positions within the same company, are not covered by Ordinance.

Although the ordinance prohibits employers from asking salary history questions, employers may still discuss salary expectations with candidates as long as they do not ask or hint at past compensation. Additionally, should candidates voluntarily disclose salary history information, employers may take this information into consideration and verify it with a previous employer.

Employers should take this newly signed ordinance into consideration when reviewing hiring policies and employment screening programs.

For more information on how Ordinance No. 170350 may affect your employment screening efforts, or for questions about establishing a compliant risk mitigation program, contact AccuSource today or reach us by phone at 888-649-6272.


This information is not intended to be legal advice.  It is recommended that you speak with your Legal Counsel to ensure compliance with applicable law.



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