Advocating For California Employee Rights

What should workers know about wage discrepancies in California?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2023 | Wage And Hour

Despite significant advancements in nationwide employment laws, many workers still face unfair treatment at work. Unfortunately, wage discrepancies remain particularly troubling and affect much of the California workforce.

As you may know, former Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act in 2015 to strengthen existing protections in the state Equal Pay Act. These Acts prohibit employers from paying different rates to similarly qualified employees who perform equal work. They continue to undergo beneficial revisions designed to protect workers.

Select benefits of the Equal Pay Act

Did you know that pay disparity does not always involve gender discrimination? The Fair Pay Act bolsters the Equal Pay Act by allowing victims of non-gender-based wage disparity to seek the same legal remedy. For example, those receiving a lower wage than their peers because of ethnicity or race have the right to legal action. Alone, the Equal Pay Act essentially addressed only gender-based pay gaps.

More protections under these Acts:

  • Employers may no longer base wage gaps on previous employment
  • Prohibits employers from disallowing workers to discuss wage issues
  • Provides improved anti-retaliation protection for those involved in a wage claim

Recent amendments to the Equal Pay Act replaced the term “equal” work with “substantially similar” work. It deters employers from paying different rates to employees not performing what amounts to the exact same tasks. The amendment narrows the escape tunnel for non-compliant employers and broadens the path to resolution for those who may otherwise be ineligible for a claim.

Keep a watchful eye out for revisions and updates to California employment law to protect your rights and ensure fair workplace treatment. If you believe you are not receiving the wages you are due, speak with someone experienced with labor issues.