Initial Guidance From The California Labor Commissioner’s Office:
In early January 2023, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office released information on its website explaining its interpretation of the pay transparency law. California Equal Pay Act: Frequently Asked Questions. FAQ’s 27-36 address the pay transparency requirements. Notably, the Labor Commissioner interprets the statutes to require the pay scale to be stated within the job posting; a link or QR code is unacceptable. Also, the Labor Commissioner interprets the method for determining whether an employer has 15 employees to be the same standard applied to counting employees for the purpose of 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave and minimum wage rates.
Some Companies Are Posting Broad Expected Salary Ranges, While Others Are Keeping Their Ranges Narrow:
Employers across California have adapted their job postings to include a pay scale. Some technology companies found that their job postings were the subject of an investigation by CNBC. The salary ranges posted by the tech companies CNBC featured had very broad ranges, with the difference between the bottom and the top of the scale spanning $64,000 at one company and over $100,000 at a few others. An informal sampling of job postings done by Tressler LLP showed that other industries are posting more narrow ranges. For example, many attorney job postings had a pay range with a $20,000 – $50,000 difference between top and bottom numbers, and paralegal job postings had a smaller range of a $5,000 – $15,000 difference.
The true range of total employee compensation may be broader than the posted salary ranges. As CNBC’s reporting covered, a candidate might expect to make more than the posted salary range because postings need not include bonuses, benefits and equity.
Kristin Webb is senior counsel in Tressler’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. She focuses her practice on defending employers and providing advice and counsel against claims, including wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract and privacy.