Has the Wage Gap Narrowed?

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that although the wage gap has lowered to record levels nationally, American women still earn about 21 cents less than men do for every $1 paid. Photo of earnings statement

Female year-round workers earned 78.6 percent of what men did in similar positions in 2014, according to a Census report. The gap narrowed slightly from 77.6 percent in 2013.

The Journal reported that the pay gap has not changed meaningfully since 2007, when it was 77.8 percent. “There’s really no reason to celebrate,” Heidi Hartmann, an economist and the president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told the news outlet. “It’s just not a picture of strong and rapid improvement in the wage gap.”

According to the Journal, median earnings for women increased 2.1 percent last year to $39,621; however, when inflation is taken into account, the gains are only about .5 percent.

Wages for both male and female workers have remained stagnant since about 2009. The slow pace has led the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to move its projection for when women will reach pay equivalence with men to 2059, according to the Journal.

The California Fair Pay Act May Have a Positive Influence on the Wage Gap

If you have been following our blog, you may be aware that California’s Fair Pay Act is currently in the process of being approved. As of last week, the legislation awaited the signature of Governor Jerry Brown, which was expected.

The bill will change existing labor laws so that wording requiring equal pay for “equal work” now requires equal pay for “substantially similar” work. Additionally, it will allow employees to ask for information about coworker pay in similar positions, without the fear of retaliation.

If you have questions about the California Fair Pay Act or are concerned that you are being paid unfairly because of your gender, speak to our Los Angeles labor attorneys. We can investigate your case and determine if you may have a legal claim.

Contact our employment law firm located in Los Angeles by calling (310) 273-3180.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/09/16/gender-wage-gap-smallest-on-record-but-women-still-earn-21-less-than-men/