California’s Equal Pay Act works hand-in-hand with the Equal Pay Act of 1963. On a state and federal level, these acts prohibit workplace discrimination regarding pay, ensuring that both men and women are paid the same amount for performing reasonably similar jobs. Although sex discrimination is illegal, wage gaps continue to exist today.
Recent California legislation has improved the rights of women workers by strengthening laws that make it illegal to pay unequal wages for the same job based on sex. It also prohibits retaliation against employees who discuss their pay with others and requires employers to prove that any pay disparities are based on definite reasons such as experience or education. If your employer has violated your legal rights, the experienced employment lawyers at Blackstone Law are prepared to fight for your legal right to equal pay.
Overview of Your Rights Under California’s Equal Pay Act
According to California’s Equal Pay Act, workers must have their work viewed as a whole to determine if equal pay is legally required, with considerations of the following factors:
- The measure of earnings by quality or quantity of production
- Valid or “bona fide” factors other than sex
The law ensures that those who perform similar work are paid equally, including workers of the opposite sex, of another race, or varying ethnicity. When considered as a whole, factors that will be evaluated when determining if the work is similar include the following:
- Skills: Such as experience, ability, education, and training needed to perform the job
- The effort: Such as the amount of physical or mental exertion required to perform the job
- The responsibility: Such as the degree of accountability or obligations required in performing the job
- Working conditions: Such as the surroundings, environment, and hazards at the place of employment
Fair wage protections were extended even more as the bill removed the “same establishment” clause from the original Equal Pay Act, which included that men and women only had to be paid equally at the same physical location. Now, employers must pay employees the same amount, regardless of sex, at any location for the same job.
Additionally, the Equal Rights Pay Act explicitly states that retaliation against employees who seek to enforce the law is illegal and makes it unlawful for employers to ban employees from discussing or inquiring about their co-workers’ pay.
Lastly, employers are now prohibited from depending on an employee’s prior salary to justify sex, race, or ethnicity-based pay differences.
How to Prove an Equal Pay Act Violation in California
Under the Equal Pay Act, you must prove that you are being paid less than an employee or employees of the opposite sex, another race, or another ethnicity who perform substantially similar work. With the help of an experienced employment law lawyer, you may provide evidence of your employer’s violation of unequal pay based on seniority, merit, or other bona fide reasons.
You have two years from the date of the violation to file a claim against the employer unless the violation was intentional, in which case you have three years from the date to file. The sooner you speak with an experienced employment lawyer at Blackstone Law, the greater your chance of preserving necessary evidence to prove you were paid unfairly based on your sex, race, or ethnicity.
Seek Legal Guidance from the Employment Lawyers at Blackstone Law
All workers, regardless of sex, race, or ethnicity, deserve to be paid equally for the same work. If your employer has violated your rights, the employment lawyers at Blackstone Law can help determine the validity of your claim and provide guidance on how to best protect your rights.
We are committed to fighting on your behalf and ensuring the law is upheld fairly and equitably, especially under California’s Equal Pay Act. Request a free consultation by calling (310) 956-4054 or filling out our contact form.