Does the new Equal Pay Act really protect employees?

If you ever wondered how much some of your co-workers made but were always afraid to ask, it was probably because you were afraid of what your employer would do if you were not happy to know that some of them made more money. Co-workers' salaries are closely guarded secrets in some private companies, and complaining about what someone else makes can lead to one being fired.

This rationale arguably perpetuates inequities in pay between male and female employees. For years female employees have attempted to bridge the pay gap to no avail, even with state and federal legislation that requires employees regardless of gender to be paid equally. However, a new law may work to finally bridge the gap. 

Essentially, California's new equal pay act affirmatively protects employees who inquire about their co-workers' compensation packages and even complain about them. Indeed, employers may still terminate employees for any other reason (as long as it is not an illegal reason), but the threat of firing an employee who inquires about pay inequities should be reduced by the new law.

Additionally, employees who challenge pay inequities no longer carry the burden of proving that such gaps are solely gender based. This burden now rests with the employer to prove that differences in pay are based on some non-discriminatory reason; such as specific expertise, tenure or differences in responsibilities.

It remains to be seen whether employers will change their compensation policies or how they award bonuses. If you have questions about your rights under the new law, an experienced employment law attorney can help. 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us - Free Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Pasadena Office
128 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Suite 204
Pasadena, CA 91103

Toll Free: 866-457-2590
Phone: 626-585-9600
Fax: 626-577-7079
Map & Directions

Downtown Los Angeles Office (Legal Fund)
250 1st Street
Suite 1201
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Phone: 213-785-6999
Map & Directions