Only half of tech companies comply with California wage law, new site says, but that number is growing fast

Only half of tech companies comply with California wage law, new site says, but that number is growing fast

Only half of tech companies comply with California wage law, new site says, but that number is growing fast

Jhe founder of a website that tracks companies that are cutting tech jobs is shining a spotlight on a new issue: how well are tech companies complying with new laws that require pay scales in Jobs.

As of Thursday, just 50% of the 700 tech companies tracked by, a new free website, disclosed a salary range in the majority of their job postings based in California or a remote location.

“As the law becomes more visible and people realize which companies are compliant and which companies aren’t, I think that will put pressure on more companies,” says Roger Lee, who co-founded Comprehensive, a platform Compensation review software for HR professionals building new site free. Lee is also the creator of, the widely referenced site that has been tracking major tech job cuts since 2020.

The number grew rapidly. On Dec. 31, a day before the effective date of the new California law, which requires companies to include pay scales in California-based or remote job postings, only 22.7% of companies that tracked included pay scales in the majority of their job postings. The next day, that number rose to 28.2%; on January 5, it was 39% and on January 12, it had reached 50.2%.

In New York, where a similar law took effect Nov. 1 and which is also tracking, nearly 67% of businesses are in compliance, up from 54.7% on Dec. 31. Lee says he hopes the website, which was built by Comprehensive’s engineering team, led by co-founder Teddy Sherrill, “will further accelerate the efforts of these transparency laws to ultimately achieve transparency full pay and full pay equity,” Lee said.

The site pulls job postings from 700 tech companies from their own career websites, automatically aggregating disclosed salary ranges and revisiting companies’ career pages every day for new data. Although the site does not call out individual companies for their compliance rate, a search for jobs at a specific company will show all posts that include salary ranges and all that do not. Companies that currently don’t disclose salary data in publications won’t show up in search results, but Lee says that was unintentional and he’ll fix that in the coming days.

On Jan. 8, Lee shared a few examples of companies — Stripe, Atlassian, and DocuSign — that, as of Jan. 6, didn’t have salary ranges included for any of their California or remote job postings.

But that is already changing. In an emailed statement, Stripe said, “We support recent efforts to demand greater transparency of candidate salaries. We’re working on an imminent global rollout of these salary ranges in fairness to all applicants, and we’ll be posting ranges for all US job postings (not just those based in California and Washington) this week.

Atlassian has also begun updating its job postings to include salary ranges, saying in a statement this week that the company supports the legislation and “has implemented salary ranges by geography for each job posting.” ‘active employment across the United States, which we are rolling out and expect to be finalized by Friday.’ Already, more of his job postings now include salary ranges.

DocuSign did not respond to Forbes‘ request for comment, but as of January 12, the site showed 173 posts for remote or California-based DocuSign jobs, the majority now including pay scales.

These rapid changes show how quickly many businesses have adapted and prepared for the implementation of the laws, which are now in effect in eight states or local municipalities, including Colorado, New York, California and the State from Washington. Compensation experts say companies have had to scramble to prepare, which has required explaining pay scales to current employees, checking pay scales for fairness and clarifying the distinctions between salary ranges. hiring and total job compensation ranges.

Sites like could add to that pressure. “We’re moving toward greater democratization of data,” says Christine Hendrickson, vice president of strategic initiatives at Syndio, which does pay equity analysis for companies.

She said that aside from some informal spreadsheet files she’s seen shared, is the first to publicly aggregate data in this way. “It’s something that HR managers have had access to, and it moves it to something that’s much more like a Zillow or some sort of marketplace that shows ‘this is what jobs pay’.”

Other external sites could also help businesses comply. Job site Indeed said in December that where employers are required by law to include salary information, the company will not allow new jobs to be posted directly on Indeed (versus those indexed to from other job or career sites) unless they include salary ranges. .

While some companies may not want to share the information, Hendrickson said she finds most are trying to comply. She suggested that one of the reasons many ads may still appear without pay scales – noting that she didn’t know enough about the site’s methodology or software – is that some companies may interpret the law as only applying to jobs that were actively advertised on or after January 1. There are also technical hurdles in some applicant tracking systems that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to change an old job position, she says.

Other labor attorneys say California law applies to all job offers. “Older job postings aren’t somehow protected,” says Erin Connell, co-chair of Orrick’s pay equity task force. She says California law says the commissioner of labor can impose penalties of $100 to $10,000 per violation, and non-compliant companies won’t be fined on their first violation until pay scales are put in place. up to date.

Beyond compliance issues, offers job seekers a way to compare what different tech companies pay per job title in a more aggregated way than searching for individual listings on job sites. jobs, as well as seeing which popular job titles pay on average.

A quick look at the site’s dashboard, for example, shows that across 158 companies and 677 job postings (as of January 12), the average salary range for a senior software engineer is $148,000 to $210,000. This data is probably more useful than the site’s ranking of the highest-paying companies, where Netflix tops the list but includes many jobs whose salary ranges span hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The site already draws unwanted attention to companies that post such wide pay scales, which does little to help job seekers know how to negotiate and resolve the pay equity issues that prompted their adoption. Still, he says the average range is more in line with what HR experts recommend — 20% above and 20% below a midpoint — and hopes the site will inspire more companies to do same and not to be outliers. “Over time, and hopefully through the efforts of companies like ours, companies will realize that displaying wide ranges has a downside.”

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