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California Legislation Demands Equal Wages Regardless of Race

 

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” - Gordon A Eadie

When it comes to your rights as a California worker, nothing is more important in your Wage and Hour Class Action Law Suit then telling the truth. If you are not honest with the judge, then your case will be dismissed. 

Count on it. I have seen it many times in court.

The best thing you can do for your case is always tell the truth. Always.

 

While wage discrepancies exist between employees for a number of reasons, uncontrollable factors shouldn’t be one of them. The state of California has implemented several protections to close wage gaps between peer employees, including adopting The Fair Pay Act in 2016 to penalize companies who pay women less than men in similar positions.

Now, a new bill is taking aim at another factor dictating pay rates: race.

New Legislation Aims to Close California Race Wage Gap

The bill, referred to as the Wage Equality Act of 2016, has close ties to The Fair Pay Act, even adopting much of the language of the previous bill. But this time, the legislation prohibits wage discrimination based on race or ethnicity, demanding equal wages for white and non-white employees who perform “substantially similar” work.

The bill was introduced by state senator Isadore Hall III, and would act as an addendum to California’s 65-year-old Equal Pay Act (which does not include any provisions or protections based on race and ethnicity). Senator Hall claims that language to prevent race wage discrimination was considered in The Fair Pay Act, but the authors decided to split the issue into two separate protections.

According to Senator Hall, the need for the bill is based on economic factors, including:

  • Male wage disparities. Recent statistics found that African American men receive an average of 75% of the wages earned by white male workers performing the same jobs.
  • Female wage discrepancies. Not only are minority women paid less than white male workers, they are also paid less than men of the same ethnicity. For every dollar a white male worker is paid, an African American woman makes an average of 63 cents—and a Hispanic woman will only be paid 54 cents. These gaps add up to an estimated $39 billion each every year in lost wages just for minority women in California.
  • Fear of termination. In the past, workers earning less than a fair wage would often fear retaliation by their employers if they raised the issue. If the bill is adopted into law, workers would be allowed to openly seek salary information from employers or co-workers and employers would be required to justify any wage gaps—all while preventing employers from unfairly terminating or taking action against the employee.

If this bill passes, hundreds of thousands of workers could be guaranteed equal wages for their work—or have the right to take their employers to court.

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