Expansion Of Equal Pay Laws In California

A pair of bills were signed by the Governor on September 30, 2016, that increase the protections of the equal pay laws in California.  First, AB 1676, provides that prior salary cannot, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation under the “bona fide factor” exception to the prohibition of unequal pay.  That is employers may pay different wage rates if there is a bone fide business factor to do so, that has nothing to do with the person’s gender.  Now, what wage rate the employee formerly made can no longer be considered such a bone fide factor.  Second, SB 1063 prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of another race or ethnicity for substantially similar work.  This expands prior equal pay law, which only protected against unequal pay among different genders.

–Adam K. Treiger