On Tuesday October 6, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the country's toughest wage equality bill into law. Effective January 1, 2016, California's Fair Pay Act is amended to add more teeth to the problem of wage equality.
Here are the most important highlights from the Fair Pay Act:
1. The new standard requires that employers must pay workers equal pay for substantially similar work. No longer is the comparable employee's title or even work location a factor.
2. The burden is now on the employer to show that the wage differential is based one of more of the following factors:
a. A seniority system.
b. A merit system
c. A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality or production.
d. A bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience. This factor shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that the factor is not based on or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, is job related with respect to the position in question, and is consistent with a business necessity. For purposes of this subparagraph, “business necessity” means an overriding legitimate business purpose such that the factor relied upon effectively fulfills the business purpose it is supposed to serve. This defense shall not apply if the employee demonstrates that an alternative business practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing the wage differential.
2. Employees can complain to the Labor Board if they believe they have been paid less than employees for substantially similar work. The Labor Board will investigate the matter, keeping the employee's name confidential.
3. Employees can not be discharged or retaliated against for seeking to enforce this law.
4. An employer can not prohibit employees from disclosing their own wages, inquiring into another employee's wages and encouraging employee's from exercising their rights under the law.
If you have questions about the new changes to the Fair Pay Act call The Rad Firm, APC at 310-461-3766.