It has been long known that California and the rest of the nation have a problem with the gender pay gap. California lawmakers have been trying to address and decrease the gap, but their attempts have had a minimum impact.
That isn’t to say, however, that gender pay inequality is as bad as it was a decade ago. According to statistics provided by PayScale, a woman earns 97.8 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterpart.
And yet, our gender discrimination attorney Los Angeles at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers keeps receiving calls from female workers seeking legal assistance to get their employer to pay them as much as they pay their male counterparts.
What you didn’t know about the CFPA
What we have learned over the years is that most women do not know about the existence of the California Fair Pay Act (“CFPA”), key legislation passed in October 2015. There are a number of things each and every employer in California is legally required to do to be in compliance with the CFPA.
As you may have guessed, all of these requirements are intended to decrease the gender pay gap and prevent employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of gender.
In a nutshell, the CFPA requires employers to pay their workers who perform “substantially similar work” the same wage regardless of gender, ethnicity or race. In addition to that, one of the many requirements established by the CFPA is to disclose the pay scale for a position to a job applicant whenever he makes a reasonable request for it.
What’s actions are illegal under the CFPA
As you may or may not know, one of the many tactics used by employers to pay their workers as little as possible is inquiring about a job applicant’s prior salary. “Requesting an applicant’s prior salary history is also illegal under the CFPA,” says our experienced discrimination attorney in Los Angeles.
Thus, California employers cannot rely on a job applicant’s prior history to justify a pay gap based on gender, ethnicity or race. Even though the CFPA had existed for nearly two years, its requirements have had little to no effect on employers in California, which is why a group of brave women launched the California Pay Equity Task Force (“Task Force”) and released written guidance for employers in September 2018 to ensure that they follow the CFPA requirements.
Written guidance on the CFPA
Although it has been three months since the written guidance was released, many employers in California are still not familiar with the tips outlined by the Task Force:
- Regularly review and update job descriptions to ensure that a position’s duties and responsibility are clearly and accurately stated in the description (these job descriptions, in turn, are used to determine whether a male and female are performing “substantially similar work,” and thus should be paid the same amount of wages).
- Educate managers on the factors they should rely upon when making decisions regarding compensation, pay raises, promotions, and anything related to wages.
- Clearly outline the grounds for every compensation decision made by the employer or his/her managers, as well as document all compensation decisions.
- Proactively identify any differences in wages among male and female employees who perform substantially similar work (if such differences in wages exist, the employer must make immediate adjustment to be in compliance with the CFPA requirements).
- Review hiring and compensation practices in place to ensure that the requirements set by the CFPA are met.
If you believe that your male counterparts are being paid more than you while performing substantially similar work, the worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and/or stay in the dark about the legal requirements established by the CFPA and other federal and state laws intended to reduce the gender wage gap.
Get a free consultation with our discrimination attorney Los Angeles to find out your best course of action if you are being paid substantially less than your male colleague. Contact us for a free case evaluation by calling at 310-527-6994.
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