Day ago, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 358 (SB 358), enacting one of the toughest new laws in the U.S. regarding equal pay for equal work.
Known as the California Fair Pay Act (CFPA), this new law essentially clarifies when employers are required to provide equal pay for workers of opposite genders while laying out clearer terms for what constitutes retaliation again workers who question their pay.
When signing SB 358 on October 6th at the Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park in Richmond, Gov. Brown noted that this new law represented “ a very important milestone” and that “the inequities that have plagued our state and have burdened women forever are slowly being resolved with this kind of bill.”
Details of the California Fair Pay Act: What Employers & Workers Should Know
Some of the major new elements of the CFPA, which will take effect on January 1, 2016, are that:
- “Substantially similar work,” rather than “the exact same job,” will be grounds for determining when workers of different genders should be paid equal amounts – In other words, the CFPA will provide for equal pay on the basis of the nature of the work done, rather than the specific job title workers hold.
- “Substantially similar work” can include work performed at different job sites for the same company – So, as long as workers work for the same company doing the same tasks, it does not matter if they work at the same job site when it comes to rights for equal pay.
- Employees have the right to discuss wage issues without fear of retaliation – In other words, it is illegal for employers to demote, layoff, fire or otherwise retaliate against employees who question their wages and/or discuss their colleagues’ wages. Those who are subjected to employer retaliation when trying to pursue equal pay can sue employers for damages.
Opposition to the CA Fair Pay Act: Employers’ Backlash
Although many workers, labor advocates and legislators are happy that California is spearheading the move towards wage equality, there has already been a significant backlash from employers and some business leaders in the state. Namely, these parties have opposed the CFPA because, as they say, the new law will likely:
- Deter businesses from starting or expanding in California
- Spur a lot of new lawsuits against employers in the new year.
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Contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney at Urbanic & Associates
If you have been the target of wage theft – or if an employer has violated any of your rights as a California worker, you can turn to Los Angeles employment attorney at Urbanic & Associates for help pursuing justice.
To discuss about your options for moving forward, call Urbanic & Associates today at (310) 216-0900 or send our firm an email using the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in Los Angeles, Attorney James Urbanic provides superior representation to clients throughout Los Angeles County and southern California, including (but not limited to) those in Glendale, Burbank, Alhambra, Van Nuys, Santa Monica and Orange County.