By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Many California employers will soon be required to include salary ranges on job postings under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.
The new law, Senate Bill 1162, will require employers with 15 or more workers to provide employees with pay scales for their jobs starting Jan. 1, 2023. It also requires employers to maintain records of the job titles and wages of each employee. The data would be open to inspection by the state’s labor commissioner, who could fine violators up to $10,000.
“California has once again shown its dedication to creating a more equitable economy for all,” the bill’s author, Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, tweeted Tuesday. “Disclosing salary ranges have been proven to narrow the wage gap.”
The Golden State is not the first in the nation to move forward with this requirement. Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act took effect on Jan. 1, 2021, requiring employers to disclose a salary range on job postings.
The California measure was backed by unions and women’s committees across the state, who argued that greater transparency is needed to expose and eliminate gender and race-based pay disparities. It faced opposition from the Chamber of Commerce and certain industry associations who feared the law could open employers up to litigation and would undermine “employers’ ability to hire.”
“SB 1162 undermines employers’ ability to hire and subjects employers to a private right of action and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA),” CalChamber and other associations wrote in an opposition letter in August. “The additional burdens and costs this proposal would create will limit an employer’s ability to offer higher wages and benefits to new or existing employees and discourage growth or expansion in California.”
The law was among a package of bills signed by the governor Tuesday that were backed by the Legislative Women’s Caucus. Gov. Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 1287 to eliminate the “pink tax” in California, prohibiting two “substantially similar” products from being priced differently based on what gender they are marketed toward.
“The ‘Pink Tax’ is a gender-based penalty that harms women who are already paid less,” said the bill’s author Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda. “This type of arbitrary gendered pricing has no place in California. It’s long past time to eliminate this type of inequality.”
Gov. Newsom also signed new laws Tuesday that increase eviction protections for domestic violence and abuse survivors, provide free medical evidentiary exams for domestic violence victims, and require sexual assault and domestic violence counselors to be independent from a college’s Title IX office.
“California has the strongest equal pay laws in the nation, but we’re not letting up on our work to ensure all women in our state are paid their due and treated equally in all spheres of life,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “These measures bring new transparency to tackle pay gaps, end discriminatory pricing of products based on gender and expand supports for survivors of abuse and assault.”
Madison Hirneisen covers California for The Center Square.