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Google, Meta and Others May Soon Need to Disclose Pay on California Job Listings

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California may soon require nearly all employers hiring in the state to begin listing pay on job postings, a move that could affect many of America’s biggest companies.

A bill advancing in the California legislature mandates that all organizations with 15 or more employees include the hourly pay or salary range on job listings. It also calls for companies to disclose more information to the state on the wages of existing workers.

The legislation, if enacted, could compel employers to make nationwide changes to pay and hiring practices, human-resources executives and advisers said. Already, a number of cities and states have passed salary transparency laws. Such a law took effect in Colorado last year, while one in New York City begins in November. The state of Washington will require companies to include pay ranges on job posts as of Jan. 1.

California’s Legislature has also passed a bill Monday to create a government panel that would set wages for fast food workers in the state.

‘This is likely going to be the tipping point for many large employers where they consider a nationwide strategy.’


— Christine Hendrickson, vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio

California has more than 19 million workers and is home to companies such as

Apple Inc.,

Google parent

Alphabet Inc.,

Meta

Platforms Inc. and

Walt Disney Co.

, all of which would be required to reveal compensation information on postings for roles in the state under the legislation.

The pay disclosure measure would also apply to companies based elsewhere but looking to fill roles in California. A number of California business groups oppose the bill, calling it overly burdensome.

Big companies typically prefer to standardize hiring practices across states, advisers said, so the California legislation may also push some employers to list pay on all job posts nationwide, wanting to avoid a state-by-state patchwork approach.

“This is likely going to be the tipping point for many large employers where they consider a nationwide strategy,” said Christine Hendrickson, vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio, an analytics platform that helps employers identify and fix pay and other workplace discrepancies.

Microsoft Corp.

in June said it would start to disclose salary ranges for all job postings in the U.S. beginning no later than January, and some smaller employers have said they intend to do the same.

Many companies have traditionally been reluctant to add pay information on job postings, fearing that it could make hiring more difficult or raise issues internally if current employees compare their existing pay with the range on a job listing. Some employers also worry that missteps could lead to civil penalties or queries from California labor officials, said Philip I. Person, a labor and employment attorney in the San Francisco office of Greenberg Traurig LLP. “It’s an administrative burden for the employer,” he said.

New York is rolling out a new law requiring employers to list salary ranges on job postings. Similar laws in places like Colorado aim to even the playing field for applicants. But not everyone is embracing the changes. Illustration: Adele Morgan

The California bill, introduced earlier this year in the state Senate, passed a vote in the California Assembly on Monday. It will now head back to the Senate this week for a final vote and is ultimately expected to make its way to the desk of California Gov.

Gavin Newsom,

a Democrat. Representatives for Mr. Newsom had no immediate comment.

The bill, introduced by California state Sen. Monique Limón, is aimed at addressing gender pay gaps and providing greater wage transparency.

In addition to requiring pay ranges on job postings, the legislation also broadens some requirements for companies to disclose pay information about existing workers. Companies would need to provide California with the median and hourly pay rate by race, ethnicity and sex within a variety of job categories. Companies that hire 100 or more employees through labor contractors would also be required to submit a pay data report to the state.

An earlier provision in the legislation, since removed, would have required the state to publish the pay data reports of many companies to the public, a measure that drew criticism from trade groups. The California Chamber of Commerce and other business groups in the state still oppose the bill, arguing that it could undermine employers’ ability to hire. But the California Chamber removed the bill from its “job killer list” after lawmakers amended the bill to no longer include the provision that a company’s pay data reports could be published.

Two state judges earlier this year struck down a pair of California laws that required employers in the state to add women and members of underrepresented groups to their boards of directors. The laws were challenged by conservative legal groups.

The growing number of laws focused on pay are causing some employers to hire specialists to focus on such issues, Ms. Hendrickson said. A current job posting for a senior manager of “total rewards—fair pay” at

Johnson & Johnson,

for example, notes that the person will need to identify “and monitor Fair Pay legislation globally to inform our strategy,” among other responsibilities.

Write to Chip Cutter at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



California may soon require nearly all employers hiring in the state to begin listing pay on job postings, a move that could affect many of America’s biggest companies.

A bill advancing in the California legislature mandates that all organizations with 15 or more employees include the hourly pay or salary range on job listings. It also calls for companies to disclose more information to the state on the wages of existing workers.

The legislation, if enacted, could compel employers to make nationwide changes to pay and hiring practices, human-resources executives and advisers said. Already, a number of cities and states have passed salary transparency laws. Such a law took effect in Colorado last year, while one in New York City begins in November. The state of Washington will require companies to include pay ranges on job posts as of Jan. 1.

California’s Legislature has also passed a bill Monday to create a government panel that would set wages for fast food workers in the state.

‘This is likely going to be the tipping point for many large employers where they consider a nationwide strategy.’


— Christine Hendrickson, vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio

California has more than 19 million workers and is home to companies such as

Apple Inc.,

Google parent

Alphabet Inc.,

Meta

Platforms Inc. and

Walt Disney Co.

, all of which would be required to reveal compensation information on postings for roles in the state under the legislation.

The pay disclosure measure would also apply to companies based elsewhere but looking to fill roles in California. A number of California business groups oppose the bill, calling it overly burdensome.

Big companies typically prefer to standardize hiring practices across states, advisers said, so the California legislation may also push some employers to list pay on all job posts nationwide, wanting to avoid a state-by-state patchwork approach.

“This is likely going to be the tipping point for many large employers where they consider a nationwide strategy,” said Christine Hendrickson, vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio, an analytics platform that helps employers identify and fix pay and other workplace discrepancies.

Microsoft Corp.

in June said it would start to disclose salary ranges for all job postings in the U.S. beginning no later than January, and some smaller employers have said they intend to do the same.

Many companies have traditionally been reluctant to add pay information on job postings, fearing that it could make hiring more difficult or raise issues internally if current employees compare their existing pay with the range on a job listing. Some employers also worry that missteps could lead to civil penalties or queries from California labor officials, said Philip I. Person, a labor and employment attorney in the San Francisco office of Greenberg Traurig LLP. “It’s an administrative burden for the employer,” he said.

New York is rolling out a new law requiring employers to list salary ranges on job postings. Similar laws in places like Colorado aim to even the playing field for applicants. But not everyone is embracing the changes. Illustration: Adele Morgan

The California bill, introduced earlier this year in the state Senate, passed a vote in the California Assembly on Monday. It will now head back to the Senate this week for a final vote and is ultimately expected to make its way to the desk of California Gov.

Gavin Newsom,

a Democrat. Representatives for Mr. Newsom had no immediate comment.

The bill, introduced by California state Sen. Monique Limón, is aimed at addressing gender pay gaps and providing greater wage transparency.

In addition to requiring pay ranges on job postings, the legislation also broadens some requirements for companies to disclose pay information about existing workers. Companies would need to provide California with the median and hourly pay rate by race, ethnicity and sex within a variety of job categories. Companies that hire 100 or more employees through labor contractors would also be required to submit a pay data report to the state.

An earlier provision in the legislation, since removed, would have required the state to publish the pay data reports of many companies to the public, a measure that drew criticism from trade groups. The California Chamber of Commerce and other business groups in the state still oppose the bill, arguing that it could undermine employers’ ability to hire. But the California Chamber removed the bill from its “job killer list” after lawmakers amended the bill to no longer include the provision that a company’s pay data reports could be published.

Two state judges earlier this year struck down a pair of California laws that required employers in the state to add women and members of underrepresented groups to their boards of directors. The laws were challenged by conservative legal groups.

The growing number of laws focused on pay are causing some employers to hire specialists to focus on such issues, Ms. Hendrickson said. A current job posting for a senior manager of “total rewards—fair pay” at

Johnson & Johnson,

for example, notes that the person will need to identify “and monitor Fair Pay legislation globally to inform our strategy,” among other responsibilities.

Write to Chip Cutter at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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