California Closing Pay Gaps for Gender and Race

     (CN) – California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday beefed up equal-pay protections – already the nation’s strictest – by signing two bills aimed at eliminating pay gaps based on gender, race and ethnicity.
     Brown signed Assembly Bill 1676, authored by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, D-San Jose, which bars employers from using a female job applicant’s salary history to justify paying her a lower wage than a similarly qualified man.
     Campos’ bill meshes with 2015’s landmark equal-pay law requiring employers to pay men and women the same wage for “substantially similar work.” In a statement following Brown’s signing of her bill, Campos noted that California women who work full time lose nearly $38 billion cumulatively every year due to the age gap.
     “I applaud the Governor for supporting Assembly Bill 1676, an important bill that will help close the gender wage gap in California. When employers rely on prior salaries to set wages, they are often perpetuating unfair wage disparities in the job market, particularly for women and people of color,” Campos said.
     Brown also signed Senate Bill 1063, authored by state Sen. Isadore Hall III, D-Compton, which aims to close the wage gap between white employees and those of other races and ethnicities.
     Hall’s bill prohibits employers from paying employees less than what employees of other races and ethnicities make for substantially similar work.
     In a statement, Hall noted that pay gaps aren’t limited to men and women.
     “For too long, too many women and minorities in California and across this nation have been paid less for doing the same job simply because of their gender or their race. It’s wrong. It’s discriminatory. It’s frankly un-American,” Hall said.
     Brown signed the bills without comment.
     Both take effect on Jan. 1.

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