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Potential Further Expansion to Equal Pay Laws

The beginning of this year brought on new changes to equal pay laws in California. The focus had turned to gender equality after the issue was prominent in award season coverage and other media outlets. As a result of this high-profile outlet, state legislators took action. Employers must now give equal wages or salaries to employees regardless of gender for "substantially similar work."

The significance of this change is the wording in this new standard. It is harder for employers to justify pay differences for substantially similar work. This means a simple job title change or stamping a different label on a job does not mean it is different. The legal standard in California now turns to the actual duties of the job itself. This was good news for many employees throughout the state who had long advocated for equal pay and gender equality.

Moving On to Race or Ethnicity

With the success that the equal pay for gender campaign brought, some state legislators are now moving forward to bring this type of equal pay rights standard for race and ethnicity. State Senator Isadore Hall recently brought forth a proposal to expand the "substantially similar work" standard to employees regardless of race or ethnicity. The argument is that some employees are also being discriminated against by receiving unequal pay due to their race, ethnicity or national origin.

With huge strides being made in California for equal pay, perhaps the racial pay gap can also be closed if this new proposal goes before state lawmakers for approval. If you believe you are being discriminated against due to your gender, race or another illegal reason, it is imperative that you seek experienced employee rights counsel as soon as possible.

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