Earlier today Governor Brown signed SB 358 known as the “California Fair Pay Act.” This new law, which takes effect on January 1, 2016, gives California the strongest equal pay law in the nation.
SB 358 amends California Labor Code §1197.5 to “close the gaps” in the state’s existing equal pay law. Specifically, SB 358:
1. Requires equal pay in California for “substantially similar work.” The previous version of Labor Code 1197.5 only required equal pay for the “same” job.
2. Allows differences in pay based on seniority or skill level or other bona fide criteria “consistent with business necessity.” However, under the new law, employers are required to prove that any pay difference between substantially similar workers is the result of a bona fide criteria and not gender.
3. Prohibits retaliation and discrimination against employees who inquire about other employees’ wages and/or discuss their own or other employees’ wages.
4. Increases the record-keeping requirement from 2 years to 3 years.
You can read the text of SB 358 here.