back to article California passes bill requiring salary ranges on job listings

California lawmakers passed a bill that aims to promote pay equity by requiring employers to post salary ranges with job listings in the state. The bill, SB 1162, "would require an employer with 15 or more employees to include the pay scale for a position in any job posting." It also would require companies to include median …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Will this actually help ?

    For fast-food the salary range will be $minimum wage to $minimum wage+$epsilon and guess what you will be offered?

    For professional roles, that I guess this is aimed at, it will say $50K-$120K. And some people will negotiate for 130k and some will accept 50k, and this will be as exactly correlated with race and gender as it is now. The only advantage I can see is that you don't waste time applying for "senior roles" that then offer you $50K

    For executive roles it will just say $200K+ options where the options can be worth $0-$MM

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Will this actually help ?

      I think it will help as it allows everyone to see what is on offer for the job, and maybe compare it to their own job. Here in the UK it was the norm that all job adverts gave a salary range, but that has been less common of late for whatever reason. As you say, it avoids you wasting time applying for low-paid posts that are hyped up.

      I really don't understand the claims it is too hard to administer, FFS you must have some idea of your budget before offering a post!

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        To be fair, the reporting requirement (average salary broken down by race and gender) could be an absolute PITA.

        It's hard enough fitting people in predesigned "race" boxes already. Races mix and match. I might describe myself as one thing when applying for a job, but something else when filling in a form later - depends largely on what the options are. As for gender... give me strength. In neither of these categories are you likely to find consensus even as to how many boxes there ought to be, let alone who fits into which.

        And I haven't even touched on "what counts as 'salary'?" Surely the likeliest outcome is a significant increase in the amount of remuneration being given as options, bonuses, time off...

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          Yes, some of the reporting could be but a sensible approach would be to stage things so small business just give the salary ranges, larger have to do some reporting, above 500 or so employees then detailed analysis, etc.

          A few UK gov surveys have a couple of obvious choices for race/gender/religion and for each there is usually "prefer not to say" or "other" so folks who get in a tizzy about not matching some very specific minority (or are generally pissed off about being asked) can use those. In most cases you just need the obvious male/female and black/white/Asian sort of choices to show any biases.

          Assuming you compare the results to the distribution of possible applicants, of course.

        2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          --To be fair, the reporting requirement (average salary broken down by race and gender) could be an absolute PITA.--

          Especially if someone changes their mind (and gender) throughout the year.

          Maybe a new term would be needed for contracts along the lines of "we employed you as gender X and changing from that gender will be grounds for instant dismissal"

      2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        "When I were a boy" the norm was a single salary figure. Later on in life it became a salary range, or grade.

      3. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        "in the UK it was the norm that all job adverts gave a salary range, but that has been less common of late"

        Indeed so but that's not the worst I've encountered. I was recently sent a spec for a within IR35 contract in a UK government department, in which the rate was quoted as so many GB£ per day "to the umbrella". Consequently there was no way to establish what one would actually receive. Not surprisingly, I ignored the offer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          I recently caught sight of what my "employer" was spending hiring me from my umberella, and it's almost twice what goes into my bank account.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Will this actually help ?

            It would be no different if you were a permie. The cost of employing someone is usually estimated at 1.5x to 2x their salary, depending on job and country.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Will this actually help ?

              Yes, If more people realised that Employers' National Insurance payments actually come out of what is used to pay you, and how much they are, they'd be shocked.

              1. FIA Silver badge

                Re: Will this actually help ?

                ...as opposed to coming out of?

                Surely all the money my employer has is what is used to pay me? What am I shocked about?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Will this actually help ?

                  As opposed to coming out of the 'your salary' portion of the position. i.e. if you earn $50/hr, you cost your company between $75/hr and $125/hr, but you sitll only get the $50/hr.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Under

            > my umberella

            ella, ella, eh, eh, eh

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Will this actually help ?

      If they have to post a wide range at least that's better than the even more useless "salary commensurate with experience" that every professional position has these days.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        Unless everyone just takes the piss and quotes $0 to $MAX_INT

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          If you see a job that quotes a bottom range so low you can't imagine anyone with the qualifications they demand would ever take it, you can eliminate them from your search. So if companies want to play that game, they're going to get a bunch of under/un qualified candidates.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        I can't afford to be refused a job because they would have to pay me by my experience. Pay me for the actual work I do for you, dammit!

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          It's not just pay. If you have more experience than the job warrants they'll assume you're only doing it until you find a better one and then you'll leave. Few companies want employees like that.

      3. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        Or "£competitive"

        Bah!

    3. tip pc Silver badge

      Re: Will this actually help ?

      It’ll certainly help job hunters know whether to bother applying or not

      I hate those recruiters who are candid about salary ranges.

      My first question is how much, then where and if it’s shift or 9-5.

      If they don’t want to answer q1 then it’s bye bye from me.

      I’ve blocked Hamilton Barnes calling so now they call with withheld number!!

      I’m fed up of their spiel for a job that sounds great, is hundreds of miles from me and pays £30k!!

      Knowing the salary from the start saves all of us time & I may be more inclined to speak with them if I know they aren’t trying to sucker me in the first few minutes of every conversation.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        I'm not sure if "candid" means what you think it means.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          He might be a Cockney. "Candid Camera Sham'on'ya".

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        What I dislike even more, if that's possible, is the recruiter who has a job they think I would be a good fit for, and their second question (after how are you) is how much money I want to make. If I took your call, I want to hear about what the job involves just in case my reaction is to run away. Then, you can tell me how much they want to pay for the person who fits their needs. I'm not doing salary negotiation the wrong way, on the wrong end of the interview process, and with a person who isn't equipped to accept or suggest terms.

      3. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        Hamilton Barnes I won’t deal with.

        They sent me for a job, which stated shift work on the spec, I said I didn’t want to do shift work they said it didn’t apply to that role…

        They then sent me for an interview which was at a secure site (didn’t tell me about the requirements to get in) or and reckoned the salary was higher then the company was offering.

        Needless to say I didn’t take the job

        But advertising a job as competitive salary doesn’t mean a thing, we all have costs / commitments so there will be a minimum salary we can work for.

      4. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        Whilst I can agree with the sentiment from my time working in recruitment I can tell you the employer often has no idea of what a realistic salary is and is often prepared to pay more.

        Before I moved into recruitment my criteria went: where, what, how much

      5. Anonymous Crowbar

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        Send them a mail stating under GDPR they are to purge your data. If they contact you again, you will report them, and are awaiting confirmation of this email.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Will this actually help ?

      As you pointed out, it is not very worthwhile to apply for a position that underpays you. Posttng salary range will help for job SEEKERS.

      THAT much at least might be an advantage.

      But the Cali-F-U EOC and other agencies ALREADY collect too much info based on demographics. It is useful for lawsuits (both sides potentially), but it is a *bit* racist and sexist to make ANY kind of distinction by sex or race (or whatever identity floats your boat INCLUDING religion, politiics, and old age).

      I do not think it will change much EXCEPT the ADMINISTRATIVE cost of employing people.

      (Once you are signing the FRONT of the checks, you start to 'get it' when it comes to gummint gumming things up)

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Will this actually help ?

        Blame other business owners, not the government.

        If businesses weren't hurting others, none of it would be necessary.

        Sure, we have a lot of rules because some people just want to micro-manage, but MOST of the rules exist because far too many people just want to screw other people.

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Will this actually help ?

          If they're hurting you, just resign.

    5. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: Will this actually help ?

      > this will be as exactly correlated with race and gender as it is now

      Why are you commenting on something that you are so extremely poorly informed?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes it still helps.

    While one of the main reasons for this is to tighten up on discriminatory hiring practices, there are plenty of other good reasons.

    Too many companies want to waste as much of peoples time throwing roadblocks in front of this very basic question, and to much of their own time as well.

    My company wasted 3 months trying to hire someone for a help desk position, where of the candidates that got to interview, we were offering less than they could accept. Huge waste of everyone's time. In too many companies the hiring pipeline has become so mired in BS that it is almost impossible to navigate, and that seems to get worse as the company gets more successful.

    As a counter example I can site a smaller internet security company. They posted rates that were fair, though not top rate in the postings. The posting contained basic but specific instructions for the application process. Anyone who followed those instructions got a prompt call back. If they passed a basic phone screening, they were brought in for an in-person interview, and the company was prepared to make an offer that day if they thought they had a strong applicant. Follow up interviews would be made as needed either to decide between strong candidates or if they needed to keep looking. That company did great and was growing well for a few years, then as they grew, a new CFO and a change of guard in the HR office broke everything. Poorly structured and vague postings with delusional requirements became the norm. Too many people wanted to "have input on the process" so candidates started to have 3-4 interviews, and longer ones. I remember passing people in the halls who literally looked tired. We started hiring more C's, who then hired D's.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Yes it still helps.

      how much discrimination is actually happening out there? I suggest VERY LITTLE.

      [like plane crashes, it happens rarely but whenever it does it makes HUGE news]

      This may simply be another regulation waiting for a problem to actually address...

      (Also the current reporting requirements (that I am aware of) probably overlap this. EOC already collects demographic information on hiring. My corporation is tiny so i am fortunately exempt. But I am aware of it.)

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Yes it still helps.

        You would be wrong.

        https://www.paychex.com/articles/human-resources/eeoc-workplace-discrimination-enforcement-and-litigation

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes it still helps.

        You're not wrong, but you aren't truly correct either. One thing that the EOC (and other government entities) don't understand is that there is no reason to pay any employee more than you have to. That means it comes down to negotiating skills. I don't have any, and I accept whatever my employer decides to pay me.

        I have a younger relative who is an excellent negotiator. He was making more as his job while he was still in uni working on his degree than I was making after 4 years with a company that was in the Fortune 500 top 10.

        Did I think that I was being discriminated against? Nope. Was I being discriminated against? Nope, I was simply terrible at salary negotiations...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are the downsides?

    I can't see any downside to this, it just saves everyone's time.

    Also every company says they offer competitive or market driven salaries so the only reason to not provide it is because you offer below market rates.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: What are the downsides?

      Here's to me the most obvious downside: when negotiating salary, one of the key pieces of information a prospective employee has to their advantage is their current salary. If their current company publishes the salary range for their job, then that key piece of private information becomes public.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What are the downsides?

        A couple of jobs back I went for a position, I think it offered £xk max but I had an offer already at £x+5k so they matched it, plus I got all the other things I would have got at £x+5k including bonus and pay rises.

        I grew my salary into £x+25 and out of the blue got a call from a recruiter for a new role paying upto £x+26k + slightly better benefits. 3 interviews later I got a call from the recruiter offering and they wanted to offer £x+10, for some reason the recruiter didn’t want to push for more so I sent the prospective companies hr my p60 and I got a reply offering £x+26.5k plus the better benefits.

        On my first appraisal my new manager wasn’t happy when they discovered how much my pay was and I never got a pay rise until they left and the following year I got a 10% uplift!

        Funny how some people get all bent up about other peoples pay, and arbitrarily decide to hold others pay back for no good reason.

        Thankfully that’s all in the past.

        Had there not been a pay scale published in the application I’d not known how much to push for the salary I really wanted and I would have likely declined that job after wasting my time and money (time of work is not feee) attending interviews.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: What are the downsides?

          I can see the point in publishing salaries, then it's easy to see that everyone female or whose name you have to ask how to pronounce seems to be earning less than the white guys. But IIRC this only requires that current salaries/gender/race are reported, not published.

          Here the govt jobs paying more than $100K have to have the person's salary published. Then somebody retires after 40years with 12months of unused medical leave that is paid out and the local paper makes a fuss about binman or school caretaker being paid $$$$$$

        2. Robert Grant Silver badge

          Re: What are the downsides?

          > Had there not been a pay scale published in the application

          Sorry, genuinely confused: where was the pay scale in your story?

    2. DrSunshine0104

      Re: What are the downsides?

      My wife has worked in HR for many a year in the US, and she claims it is simply to screw the applicant over as much as possible. It put the applicant at more of a disadvantage than the company when it comes to wage negotiations. But an applicant could also use it to their advantage too, claim they are getting more than what they actually are, because the other company also doesn't post their wage ranges they can't really verify it.

      It is a prisoner's dilemma for companies and being 'merica, the worker gets the shaft.

      1. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: What are the downsides?

        Nothing to stop a prospective employer asking for proof of the additional money being offered.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: What are the downsides?

          Nothing stops them, but if they tried that on me, that would get a "no, and don't ask anything else like that" response. I think they are aware that the candidate isn't pleased with such tactics, and if they're negotiating salary, they at least kind of want that candidate to join.

          A candidate can overstate their previous salary, but what it boils down to is "You must pay me at least this much for me to join". They could come out and say that, which is basically their attitude anyway, but the more overt negotiation might annoy the negotiator for the company.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What are the downsides?

        Not revealing the salary is obviously an advantage to the employer

        If a candidate asks for less than budget you smile inwardly, if they ask for more you negotiate them down, or your own budget up. This obviously depends on the confidence, experience and other options of the candidate - and so statistically disadvantages disadvantaged groups.

        But publishing a range still means that a more desperate candidate will accept the bottom and a privileged one will demand 10% more than the upper limit

  4. Spanners Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I never knew

    In the developed world (outside the USA) it has long been the norm, I understand that it has not been 100% so in the UK over the last decade but we can all hope that normal service will resume when we get grown-ups back in government!

    So you don't get secure jobs, salary structures or any decent employment practices. I can see why certain politicians here see your workplace as something they want¡

  5. Robert Grant Silver badge

    > According to the US Census Bureau, "In 2020, women earned 83 cents to every dollar earned by men."

    I don't see how this is relevant; that number isn't for comparable jobs. It's across all different choices of job:

    > The female-to-male earnings ratio compares the median earnings of women working full-time, year-round to the median earnings of men working full-time, year-round. The 2020 female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.830, not statistically different from the 2019 ratio (0.823). Year-to-year changes in this ratio are not common (Figure 5).

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Women v men

      So you're saying that, on average across the board, men get the good paying jobs and women get low-balled? Thanks for raising that.

      C.

      1. claimed

        Re: Women v men

        Maybe, or some of the smart ones who pull in good jobs shack up with smart blokes with good jobs and then some have babies, and then individuals make choices about career changes and reduce their earnings c.f. their previous good jobs to improve work life balance, which means the working population of females is split into sub groups, one has lower earning potential females earning their maximum possible income (which is low but on par with males in that position), and high earning potential females not earning their potential. (Same goes for males but for whatever reason I think females take the pay cut more often, one reason may be because generally the male is older and earning more as a result)

        How big are those groups, I don't know, did I just make this up, sure... but statistics are bad at explaining complex behaviours so looking at one variable is not going to ever explain the complex motivations and interactions that happen between humans. Equal pay for equal roles, I'm all in favour, I just don't know whether gender bias alone explains the disparity, or is even the major contributor it once was (I claim no opinion on the objective truth here, just thought the post was a bit sarky and wanted to offer an alternative!)

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Women v men

        That's not the only thing the number means. There is a job-specific salary difference, which varies by industry but in almost all cases exists, and a difference in occupations in each group. If you want the number you've quoted to be 100%, there are two questions you need to answer:

        1. Why are women paid less than men when doing the same job? (The obvious question)

        2. Why do women on average have jobs that pay less than the jobs chosen on average by men? This is a combination of women choosing different jobs and being considered less often for certain jobs.

        If you only solve the first question, there will probably still be a disparity seen in the average income comparison you've cited. Asking the second question is very important because the answer to it can often reveal other difficulties, such as societal expectations of occupations, imbalance in family work leading to different choices in which job to take, or sexism seen in who gets hired but not how much the person who gets hired is paid. If we want there to be equality, we need to know all the reasons why there is inequality.

        1. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: Women v men

          Equality of outcome should not be a goal. Equality of opportunity should be, and if some 'identity groups' choose work that, on average, pays less, so be it.

          1. Swarthy Silver badge

            Re: Women v men

            Statistically, there is no difference between "Equality of outcome" and "Equality of opportunity".

            Taken on an individual basis, the two are very different; but spread out over millions, there is little to no difference. If you have a million equal opportunities, the outcomes will be tightly clustered, allowing for some outliers and other "noise".

            1. oikos

              Re: Women v men

              This has to win the Friday award for the silliest thing I've read all day.

              Equality of outcome: I want every team in the league to have won an equal number of games by the end of the season and will adjust the rules and/or scores accordingly.

              Equality of opportunity: Every team is given an equal chance to compete under the same rules and scoring methods, may the best team win.

              Anyone advocating for the former is someone I hope is never in a position of authority, because they certainly don't possess the power of reason.

              1. Swarthy Silver badge

                Re: Women v men

                If you shoot a watergun, all of the droplets have equality of opportunity (similar pressure, nozzle velocity, etc) some droplets will spray outwards, but the vast majority of them hit in a tight locality - looking an awful lot like equality of outcome.

                I used the word statistically because statistics deal with large numbers and discounts outliers - the spare drops in the above example.

                While I agree that equality of opportunity is what is needed, the end result of opportunity equality will look an awful lot like equality of outcome. Further, I have found that people who deride equality of outcome and favor opportunity, tend to ignore things that are key definers of opportunity. They seem to believe that a kid in private school with tutors has the same opportunity (school) as a kid from an inner city public school; disregarding food insecurity, parental connections, and academic assistance.

                1. oikos

                  Re: Women v men

                  Statistically, if I murder a hundred people it looks no different than if I just waited for those hundred people to die on their own. Each group eventually has a 100% mortality rate

        2. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: Women v men

          You miss the fundamental point.

          Ask your self this.

          Why are "women's" jobs traditionally lower paid?

          Is a nursery nurse less important than IT helpdesk worker?

          Is a nurse less important than an IT administrator?

          Is a seamstress less skilled than a dustbin man?

          A social worker less qualified than a train driver?

          So many, let's face it, men, here complain that your comparing apples and pears, but when the pears have been underrepresented and underpaid for thousands of years, you have to redress the balance somehow.

        3. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Women v men

          Do two men performing the same job have to have the same salary? Do they have the same work experience? Do they have the same skills and aptitude? Do they have the same employment goals? If you answered 'no' to any of those questions, then please tell me, and everyone else, why they should be paid the same salary?

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Women v men

            That's not what I suggest. I was pointing out that the cited figure is already overstating the difference, and that if you want to get a better picture, you can isolate the level of discrimination by controlling for the factors you name. If two people really do have the same abilities, experience, and goals, then we'd expect them to earn similar amounts. If they average out to different numbers, then there may be other things we didn't control for.

            I'm not asking for equality of outcome. I point out that existing comparisons are often flawed and contain a lot of differences averaged together. Some of those differences are due to discrimination. Some are due to unintentional differences that are worth studying, but not always modifying. Some are simply due to choice. If you average them all together, you may overstate or understate the ones that are due to discrimination, which is a problem for making any argument based on the statistics.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Women v men

        > So you're saying that, on average across the board, men get the good paying jobs and women get low-balled? Thanks for raising that.

        > C

        No. I'm happy to discuss this, but please think about what your motivation is for putting words in my mouth before doing so.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Women v men

        men get the good paying jobs and women get low-balled

        I think that this is an occasion when there's a significant difference between "get" and "take". We don't all choose things based only upon price.

  6. Auntie Dix Bronze badge
    Go

    Long Overdue. One Step Closer to Truth in Job-Advertising

    What a load of crap:

    "The California Chamber of Commerce, a business-oriented lobbying group, opposes the bill as "unworkable," even after the removal of a clause that would have made all pay data public. The group claims the salary range disclosure requirement is "difficult if not impossible" to implement because the bill provides a private right to action to sue non-compliant companies, even when the infraction was the omission of salary data from a third-party job website."

    Solution: Hold accountable third-party job sites.

    There is much more garbage that should be outlawed.

    Middleman, do-nothing recruiters try to enrich themselves by posting the same job umpteen times, leaving out select details to hide the hiring company. Consultancies act as subcontractors to enable hiring companies to skirt paying FTE salaries and benefits. Hiring companies like to play games with résumé-collecting blind ads and never-intended-to-fill jobs. The list goes on.

    Recruiters pitching jobs to me have claimed that the Colorado salary ranges were not yardsticks for what the jobs pay.

    Oh, really? Would you repeat that for Colorado's Attorney General?

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Long Overdue. One Step Closer to Truth in Job-Advertising

      I'd be glad to if you can get the Colorado Attorney General to not run for re-election.

  7. trevorde Silver badge

    Red flags

    * wide salary range eg £40 - £120k

    * 'competitive salary'

    * no salary mentioned

  8. Binraider Silver badge

    Not hard to bypass surely? List the range as 10k to 250k and then negotiate as appropriate.

    Well intentioned but the proof will be in the implementation.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    POA

    Pay-rate on application.

    Or

    If you need to ask, then you’re not who we’re looking for.

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