By John Pinkney
Women in California employed by the government have received new protection regarding wage discrimination through a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown, according to an article on the Sacramento Bee. Under Assembly Bill 46, wage discrimination claims can be pursued by female public employees through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or in court. Under the California Equal Pay Act, only employees in the private sector could pursue these claims.
How The Bill Came About
The bill was submitted by assemblyman, Jim Cooper, after learning female employees serving the Legislature only made 92 cents per dollar in comparison to men. This resulted in raises being authorized by the state Senate to correct the wage disparities of 71 employees. Jim Cooper stated he authorized the bill because his four children are women of color, and he believes pay laws should pertain to all public and private sectors.
Earnings of Women Compared to Men
According to reports, women employed by the state earn approximately 79.5 cents per dollar in comparison to men. The government agencies in California determine pay by seniority and merit. The disparities in wages in the state’s overall workforce reflect the fact most of the employees in positions of higher pay are men. This includes engineering and public safety positions.
Cooper’s bill may lead to adjustments in pay for women employed in executive assignments throughout state government. The pay for this type of assignment is generally more flexible than the salaries based on seniority and merit earned by the public rank-and-file employees. For any questions please call our Coachella Valley public law firm for a consultation.