The new year has brought in a number of new laws that benefit California employees. One that affects a wide swath of employees was authored by Santa Barbara State Sen. Monique Limon. Known as the “pay transparency” or “pay equity” law, it requires employers in the state with a minimum of 15 workers to include the salary or wage ranges on any job posting – internal or external.
This is going to require big changes by a number of California employers. Just last month, fewer than half of California employers included this information in their job postings.
Those behind the legislation, including Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebold Newsom, see the law as a way to close pay gaps based on gender, race and ethnicity. Sen. Limon called the changes “a big moment for California workers, especially women and people of color who have long been impacted by systemic inequities that have left them earning far less than their colleagues.”
More comprehensive reporting is required
Additional pay data reporting based on gender, race and ethnicity will are also now required for private employers with at least 100 employees. Employers who don’t comply with the requirements of the law can be fined up to $10,000. Requirements of the law extend to workers hired through staffing agencies and as independent contractors.
California is usually at the forefront of laws enacted to counteract discrimination and increase employee rights. However, three other states as well as New York City already have this type of law in place.
Certainly, the problem of pay inequities based on race, gender and ethnicity as well as other protected categories isn’t going to be solved overnight. However, this law is definitely a step in the right direction to help those who have faced pay discrimination provide evidence to support their case. Having experienced legal guidance can help as well.