THINK PROGRESS - CALIFORNIA EQUAL PAY LAW STEP FORWARD detailed report by Bryce Covert
...the California Senate unanimously passed an equal pay bill with the strongest measures aimed at closing the gender wage gap in the country. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has said that he’ll sign it into law.
The bill has a number of provisions, but the piece that stands out the most is one that requires employers to pay men and women the same for “substantially similar work,” not just the exact same job, unless differences are based on productivity, merit, and/or seniority.
California’s new bill also bans employers from retaliating against employees who discuss pay. Even though all American workers have a legal right to discuss compensation with each other, about half say that doing so is either discouraged, prohibited, or could lead to disciplinary actions. That poses a significant hurdle for women trying to address unequal pay, given that it makes it very difficult to find out what everyone else at their job makes. Lilly Ledbetter, for whom the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act was named, didn’t know she was being paid less until 19 years later. On the other hand, in places like the federal government and unionized workforces, where pay is usually transparent, the gender wage gap is much smaller.
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