When California’s Fair Pay Act goes into effect January 1, 2016, the state’s employers will be subject to the strictest equal pay law in the country. The new law is part of an increased effort on both the federal and state levels to ensure equal pay between men and women, across the county. Recently, both the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have made pay disparity a top enforcement goal.
California’s Fair Pay Act, which amends the state’s equal pay act, has been called “the nation’s most aggressive attempt yet to close the salary gap” because it contains significant provisions that may place employers at a greater risk of equal pay claims. Previously, an employee had to show that s/he was being paid less than an opposite sex colleague who was performing “equal work”; but the law now requires the employee to show that the colleagues performed “substantially similar work.” Also, where employees used to be compared only with colleagues in the “same establishment,” employers are now potentially liable for pay disparities across the entire company for employees who work in and under “similar working conditions.” Therefore, employers need to be prepared for possible claims from employees who compare themselves with colleagues in a different division, business unit, or department, including colleagues in a different geographic location or part of the company.
Continue Reading Preparing for Compliance with California’s New Fair Pay Act