The gender wage gap has been around for a long time, and came to the forefront with Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Although Clinton lost the election, the issue she ran on is still alive and well. Are you a woman who suspects disparate wages due to gender discrimination? You need an experienced legal team to help you recoup the wages you deserve.
Gender Wage Gap in California
An analysis of California wages demonstrates that women were earning about $8,000 less per annum than men in 2012. Women of color lagged even further behind. Latina women earned only 43 cents on the dollar, Black women earned 63 cents on the dollar, and Asian women earned 72 cents on the dollar in comparison to white men. The situation has improved with time, but women on average earn just 79 cents to every dollar a man earns in this country.
Why the Gender Wage Gap?
Research indicates that women traditionally gravitate toward lower paying jobs, such as nursing and teaching. Even in professions such as marketing and technology, women actually ask for roughly $14,000 less than their male counterparts for the same job. That makes it easy for employers to offer women about 3% less than men for the exact same position.
Discrimination may play a role in wage disparities. A Cornell study concluded that when women compete for men for the same job while holding equivalent credentials. Their study corroborates with census data indicating that across industries, job functions, and educational background. Women earn significantly less than men for the same work.
Closing the Gender Wage Gap in California
This fall, Governor Jerry Brown took a step to improve matters when he signed a tough new pay equity law that will come into effect in January 2017. Supplementing state and federal laws requiring equal pay for equal work, the new California Fair Pay Act prohibits bosses from paying employees less for “substantially similar work” when their titles or locations differ. It also bans retaliation against employees who discuss their disparate salaries.
Now, more than ever, rather than differentiating pay at will, employers must apply a reasonable standard based on seniority, merits, quantity or quality of production, education, or experience. Furthermore, employers must keep accurate records of pay for three years.
Remedies for Discrimination and Retaliation
Under statute, employees may recover wages plus interest and attorney’s fees. If unfairly discharged as retaliation, an employee may pursue civil action and seek reinstatement, as well as pay for lost wages and benefits, plus interest. The employee must make such a claim within one year of the perceived actions.
The Clock is Ticking
Since the law takes effect in January, there is little time for employers to get their ducks in a row, so to speak. If gender discrimination has been at play, the consequences will soon come raining down.
If you have been a victim of gender discrimination in the workplace, it is time to fight back. The law is on your side. Let the knowledgeable attorneys at Beck Law P.C., in Santa Rosa help you to navigate the intricacies of the new employment act as it applies directly to you. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.