Board Of Supervisors Set To Approve Mark Farrell's Bill To Close The 'Gender Wage Gap'

Today, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is set to approve Supervisor Mark Farrell’s “Pay Parity” law, which will ban all employers from considering past salary information in determining what salary to offer the applicant. The law will also ban employers from asking past employers about an applicant’s current or past salary without the applicant’s authorization.  

“With today’s vote, San Francisco will lead the country in helping women earn equal pay for equal work,” said Farrell. “Women will now be paid based on what their skills are worth, and not just on their previous salary.”

 “Lyft applauds the Board of Supervisors for its leadership in working to prevent pay disparity based on gender or race,” said Rena Davis, Public Policy Manager at Lyft. “We are proud to have joined governments and other private-sector employers across the country who have committed to not asking job applicants their prior salary history during the interview process.”

 “Our Council and our industry remain committed to equity in compensation for all employees regardless of gender, race, age or sexual orientation,” said Kevin Carroll, Executive Director of the San Francisco Hotel Council. “The Council believes this ordinance will help to address the wage disparity that exists between equal pay for men and women.”

According to the 2015 U.S. Census, women in San Francisco are paid 84 cents for every dollar men make. Women of color are paid even less. African American women are paid only 60 cents on the dollar, while Latina women are paid only 55 cents to each dollar.

Farrell’s policy seeks to address the practice of using past salary history from job applicants to set an employee’s wage, which contributes to the “gender wage gap” by perpetuating wage inequalities across all occupations. Studies have shown that when women are required to disclose past salary information as part of the application and salary negotiation process that they often end up at a significant disadvantage.

Farrell’s policy has two main mandates that will help advance equal pay for women. First, Farrell’s policy will ban all private employers in San Francisco from considering current, or past salary in determining what salary to offer a job applicant. Second, Farrell’s policy prohibits all private employers in San Francisco from disclosing past salary and wage history without the applicant’s explicit authorization. 

The City and County of San Francisco already does not ask job applicants their past salary or wage history as part of the application or salary negotiation process. Farrell’s policy establishes the City’s Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement as the city department responsible for enforcing the law and empowers the department to take appropriate action against employers if a violation of the policy occurs.

Farrell’s policy is endorsed by the Equal Rights Advocates and co-sponsored by Supervisors Katy Tang, Hillary Ronen, Malia Cohen, London Breed, and Aaron Peskin. Mayor Edwin Lee is expected to sign Farrell’s bill after the second vote at the Board of Supervisors on July 10. 


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