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California Senate quickly passes equal pay bill

Equal pay is an issue that has garnered national attention recently -- and for good reason. With evidence showing that men continue to out-earn women for the same work, change is necessary to ensure equality in the workplace.

Although California already has a law in place that requires equal pay for equal work, the nonprofit Equal Rights Advocates says that California are still only paid 84 cents for every dollar men earn. To push for further change, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced Senate Bill 358.

The new bill would change the existing law to prohibit employers from paying different wages to workers who have “substantially similar” jobs and no major differences in experience. It will also make it illegal for an employer to discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee who discusses pay at work.

The changes would also further empower employees who feel that they are being paid unfairly. Employees would be allowed to challenge wage differences between employees with similar jobs who work for the same employer – even if they work in different environments.

The bill was passed unanimously by the California Senate.

This bill may be an important step forward for workplace equality in California. However, many people in Orange County and throughout the state continue to bear the burden of wage discrimination. If you believe that you are being paid unfairly for your work, an experienced employment law attorney can help you understand your options.

Source: Sacramento Business Journal, "Equal pay bill unianimously passes the Senate," Allen Young, May 27, 2015 

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