The California Equal Pay Act was enacted decades ago to help women fight back against wage discrimination. Historically, women have been paid less money compared with men in similar jobs. The California Equal Pay Act has been amended over the years. At its core, the Act prohibits employers from paying employees less than similarly positioned employees on the basis of sex, gender, race, ethnicity and other protected classes.
In more recent years, the California Fair Pay Act was signed into law as an amendment to the Equal Pay Act.
What further protections does the California Fair Pay Act provide?
The California Fair Pay Act took effect on Jan. 1, 2016, to amend the California Equal Pay Act.
The Fair Pay Act states that employers are not allowed to prohibit employees from discussing their wages or the wages of others, or inquiring about others’ wages. The Fair Pay Act also prohibits employers from relying on an employee’s prior salary to justify a sex-, race-, or ethnicity- based pay difference.
With all of this legislation, the goal has been to prevent employers from paying employees less on the basis of their protected class, such as their gender, race or ethnicity.
Equal pay for substantially similar work
California wage and hour law requires that women receive equal wages to their male counterparts when they perform substantially similar work. The term “substantially similar work” is often the subject of debate in wage and hour legal cases.
If you have questions about any of these matters, you may want to discuss them with an employment law attorney.
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