According to the National Women’s Law Center, women in the United States currently make only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. In California, the pay gap is even wider with women earning just 84 cents for every dollar earned by men. This significant pay gap is not only unfair, it is also illegal under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the California Equal Pay Act. As a California employee, it is important to understand your rights and what steps you can take to fight for equal pay in your workplace.”
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the California Equal Pay Act prohibit employers from paying employees of one sex less than employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions. These laws also prohibit pay discrimination based on race or ethnicity. Additionally, California’s Fair Pay Act, which went into effect in 2016, strengthens equal pay protections by requiring that employers prove that any pay differences are based on factors other than sex, race, or ethnicity. This includes not only pay, but also benefits such as bonuses and stock options.
Are You Being Paid Less Than A Coworker?
If you believe that you are being paid less than a coworker of the opposite sex for equal work in California, there are several steps you can take. First, gather evidence of the pay discrepancy. This may include pay stubs, job descriptions, and performance evaluations. Next, talk to your employer about the issue. They may be willing to address the problem voluntarily.
If your employer is unwilling to correct the pay discrepancy, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The DFEH and the EEOC are responsible for enforcing federal and state laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
You can also consider consulting a private attorney who specializes in employment law, such as the Salusky Law Group. They can provide you with legal guidance and representation throughout the process of filing a claim.
Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental right that is protected by law in California. As a California employee, it is important to be aware of your rights and take action if you believe that you are being paid less than a coworker of the opposite sex for equal work.