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California Governor Signs Sweeping Law to Prevent Wage Discrimination Based Upon Gender

October 6th, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will finally level the playing field for women in the state of California to have equal pay with their male counterparts.

The bill signed into law by Governor Brown was SB 358, and supporters say it offers the strongest equal pay protection in the nation.

The new law makes California only the 5th state in the nation to protect its female workers again wage abuse, something that has been prevalent in all areas of employment in California for the better part of the last 100 years.

The bill, first introduced by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democrat from Santa Barbara goes further than current federal laws by making employers prove that a man’s higher pay is based on factors not related to gender.

The ‘Fair Pay Act’ stipulates that men and women performing essentially the same work and having the same responsibilities, receive essentially the same compensation, and that employers can only justify higher wages for men if the pay is based upon seniority, merit increases, quantity of work, quality of work, or any other factor clearly not related to the gender of the employees. It cleared the Legislature with bipartisan support and backing from the state Chamber of Commerce.

Attorney Vincent D. Howard, of Howard Law PC, has been a strong supporter of equal pay between men and women and has on multiple occasions taken companies and organizations to court to stop the discrimination in compensation between male and female employees.

“The law enacted by Governor Brown is long overdue and something that quite frankly should have happened decades ago,” said Mr. Howard. “This is a much-need law and will help law firms like ours ensure that people who feel that they have been subjected to wage discrimination have a place to turn to for help and a law that will back them up.” The new law signed this week also protects workers from retaliation if they ask questions about whether their pay is essentially equal to those of other employees around them performing essentially “similar” work.

The new law takes effect on January 1st, 2016.

If you feel that you have been subjected to wage discrimination based upon your gender, you are encouraged to contact our offices - Los Angeles Employment Attorney VINCENT HOWARD at HOWARD LAW can help. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message online.