On Tuesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, a bill designed to combat the wage gap between men and women, an act he called an “important milestone” to help the state in “reaching toward greater equity.” The law makes it illegal for employers to pay employees of the opposite sex lower wages than colleagues performing “substantially similar work,” and forbids retaliation towards employees who ask about their coworkers’ wages, a tactic wielded by employers to conceal wage disparities.
Prior fair pay law required employees of the same job title to be paid equally, but this meant that women performing similar duties to men had no legal recourse if they didn’t have the same title. “Now they’re going to have to value the work equally,” said State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, who introduced the bill. Jackson sold the bill as good not only for women but for California’s economy and families: “Because of the wage gap,” said Jackson, “our state and families are missing out on $33.6 billion dollars a year.” The law garnered bilateral agreement, passing with few dissenters in the Assembly and unanimously in the state Senate. The benefit of eliminating gender pay disparity, in California at least, was something everyone could agree on.
Read the full story at The LA Times.