Eggman bill to close gender wage gap passes key committee
SACRAMENTO – A bill by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman to ban employers from seeking the salary history of job applicants, a practice that contributes to women being paid less than their male co-workers, passed a key committee Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 168 prohibits employers from asking for or looking for the salary history of a job applicant, either personally or through an intermediary. It also requires employers to disclose to an applicant, upon request, the pay scale for a position.
According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, women in the U.S. are paid about $.80 for every $1.00 paid to men. In California alone, women who are employed full-time would earn $39 billion more per year if they were paid as much as their male colleagues – which works out to $8,000 a year more for every woman in the state.
“Women are historically underpaid, and using salary history as a baseline just reinforces the inequity,” Eggman, D-Stockton, said. “There are women entering the workforce today who could be behind for decades if we don’t end this practice.”
The bill exempts from protection salary information that is considered public under the California Public Records Act or the federal Freedom of Information Act. It builds on previous legislation authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and former San Jose Assemblywoman Nora Campos. It must next pass the Committee on Appropriations before a vote by the full Assembly.