Equal Pay Ordinances in San Francisco
Parity in Pay Ordinance
On July 11, 2017, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Parity in Pay Ordinance, sponsored by then-Supervisor Mark Farrell and signed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee. The Ordinance 1) prohibits employers, including City contractors and subcontractors, from asking applicants about their current or past salary, 2) bans employers from considering an applicant’s current or past salary in determining whether to hire an applicant or what salary to offer (unless the applicant voluntarily discloses his or her current or past salary), and 3) prohibits employers from disclosing a current or former employee’s salary without that employee’s authorization. The Ordinance becomes operative on July 1, 2018. The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement is authorized to implement and enforce this law, and the City is authorized to bring a civil action against an employer for violations.
Before the Parity in Pay Ordinance, employers were allowed to offer a salary based on the applicant’s previous salary, perpetuating any prior pay inequities or gender wage discrimination. By giving employees the right to the privacy of their own salaries, this timely initiative allows them to earn a wage based on their qualifications and the job in question so that they and their families can thrive.
Equal Pay Ordinance
On December 9, 2014, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Equal Pay Ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor David Campos. Signed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the Ordinance 1) created a new mandate in City contracting to require contractors doing business on large projects with the City to submit an annual Equal Pay Report and 2) established a seven-member Equal Pay Advisory Board to analyze and recommend the best methods of data collection that will identify wage gaps between men and women of the same and different races and among members of different races. The Equal Pay Advisory Board is comprised of three members appointed by the Board of Supervisors, two members appointed by the Mayor, and two members appointed by the Commission on the Status of Women. The Human Rights Commission administers the Equal Pay Ordinance.
With this milestone legislation, San Francisco’s voice enters the national dialogue on pay equality and wage discrimination, hailing support from advocates of women’s and workers’ rights. By promoting wage transparency and awareness, this timely initiative will help prevent workers from being unfairly shortchanged so that they and their families can thrive.