The California Equal Pay Act makes it illegal for employers to pay employees less on the basis of their sex or gender. Still, on a national scale, women make 79 cents for every dollar made by men for doing the same jobs. Employees in California need to be aware of their rights and options if an employer is engaging in discriminatory wage practices.
How is California enforcing the Equal Pay Act?
In a relatively recent development, the California Equal Pay Act now requires that employers report how much employees make and the functions of their jobs. In addition, the Equal Pay Act requires the reporting of employees’ ethnicities, races and sexes so the data can be easily surveyed. This information helps the state investigate employers when allegations of sex discrimination or unlawful wage practices are raised.
What if you’re being discriminated against?
If you believe that you’re being paid less on the basis of your sex or gender, you can get help from an employment law attorney and file a wage claim. Following are some possible indicators that you’re being discriminated against:
- Being assigned more work without any worthwhile promotions or raises
- Working more hours for the same amount of pay
- Being turned down for promotions or raises despite having more qualifications than your coworkers
- You notice a companywide trend of one sex being promoted or advancing quicker than the other
These are just some of the indicators that might suggest a larger problem of workplace discrimination. Other signs unique to your job or industry might also exist.
Reach out to an attorney
If you suspect that you are not being paid fairly, consider reaching out to a California employment law attorney to learn more about your options. You may be owed significant back pay and other compensation if your rights were violated under California law.