The San Jose Mercury News reported recently that officials are promoting the California Fair Pay Act, which would make it difficult for employers to pay men more than women for “substantially similar” work.
The news source reported that the state Legislature is on the verge of passing the law, which would be one of the strictest in the nation when it comes to closing the wage gap between male and female workers.
In addition to making it more difficult to pay female employees less, the law would prohibit employers from retaliating against female workers who ask about the salaries of male coworkers. “We’re closing all the loopholes,” said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, who authored the bill, according to the Mercury News. “No more excuses.”
Both Democrats and Republicans, and the state Chamber of Commerce, support the California Fair Pay Act. As of last week, the bill was expected to pass through the Senate to be sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval.
The bill would change existing law, changing wording that now requires equal pay for equal work, to equal pay for “substantially similar” work, the Mercury News reported.
According to the Anita Borg Institute, female tech workers in California make about 70 percent of what men make, creating a substantial wage gap. Additionally, some researchers have said that women who work full-time in California receive about 84 cents to every dollar a man earns.
Employers would still be able to pay workers more based on merit and seniority. The bill is not without its critics, who say that it should require companies to release salary data about male and female workers, rather than requiring female workers to ask for the information.
Our Los Angeles Labor Attorney Can Help You with a Wage Issue
It is a good that strides are being made in California for equal pay. It should be noted that there are federal laws in place that determine equal pay when it comes to employment discrimination. Under these laws, if two individuals perform equal work, it is illegal for one to receive less pay than the other one. This bill would supplement these existing laws.
If you believe that you are being paid less than a coworker because of your gender or racial background, speak to our Los Angeles labor attorneys. We may be able to determine if you are experiencing wage inequality. You may be able to recover your lost wages, interest on those wages and damages, if you can prove that you are being discriminated against.
Contact our employment law firm located in Los Angeles by calling (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys