Joining a national trend, San Francisco bans salary-history questions
- San Francisco officials passed an ordinance barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary histories on July 11, reports ABC7 News. The mayor is expected to sign off.
- The law aims to close the wage gap between women and men, and applies to both private employers and city agencies and contractors, according to the San Francisco Examiner. Women in San Francisco earn 16 cents less on the dollar than men, African-American women earn 60 cents less and Latinas, 55 cents, says the Examiner, citing U.S. Census figures.
- “If women are always held back and down by their salary history, they are prevented from ever catching up with men,” city supervisor Mark Farrell, told the Examiner. “We have to stop it.”
San Francisco joins at least nine other cities and states in barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary history to end pay disparities, and even more are considering proposals to that effect. It remains to be seen, however, whether these laws will survive legal challenges; Philadelphia's is on hold while a judge considers a lawsuit seeking to undo that city's ban.
Besides barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary histories, some of the pay equity laws forbid employers from making pay disclosure a condition of employment, retaliating against candidates who refuse to answer pay-history questions and using that information to make hiring decisions.
More than half of the people surveyed by job website Glassdoor believe employers shouldn't ask candidates about their salary histories. In fact, most respondents think people should keep their salary information confidential.