It’s a Great Time To Be a Working Woman In California

In this photo May 28, 2015 photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a gathering of political, business and community leaders at the annual California Chamber of Commerce Host Breakfast in Sacramento, Calif. Several California lawmakers and community assistance groups are calling on Brown to repay more than $331 million in funds intended to help homeowners struggling with foreclosures that the state siphoned off to help deal with its budget crisis. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Governor of California, Jerry Brown Makes History

As a movement dedicated to redefining the word feminist. It brings us great pleasure to announce and witness Governor of California, Jerry Brown sign into law Senate Bill 358 . This bill would close the wage gap between men and women in California, who performs the same work while earning different wages. No longer will employees live in fear of discussing employment wages with employers with fear of retaliation. The law states:

Conditions of employment: gender wage differential

” This bill would revise that prohibition to eliminate the requirement that the wage differential be within the same establishment, and instead would prohibit an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than those paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, as specified. The bill would revise and recast the exceptions to require the employer to affirmatively demonstrate that a wage differential is based upon one or more specified factors, including a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a bona fide factor other than sex, as specified. The bill would also require the employer to demonstrate that each factor relied upon is applied reasonably, and that the one or more factors relied upon account for the entire differential. The bill would prohibit an employer from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against, any employee by reason of any action taken by the employee to invoke or assist in any manner the enforcement of these provisions.”

The California Fair Pay Act would make certain that similar work will receive equal pay. Women in California statistically have been paid $0.78 on $1.00 paid to men. Each year a total of $33 Billion are not given to deserving and hardworking women in California and the rest of the nation. This new law should impact the total loss on women wages over the next coming years. With aim to completely close the gap on discrimination against women wages.

Know your Rights: The Senate Bill Requires 

  •  (a) An employer shall not pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions, except where the employer demonstrates:
    • (1) The wage differential is based upon one or more of the following factors:
      • (A) A seniority system.
      • (B) A merit system.
      • (C) A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.
      • (D) A bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience.

What does this mean? The bill does not grant pay increase to all women employees without proper justification. There is more work to be done to study implementation of the law. More importantly, Senate Bill 358 is said to be the strongest equal pay legislation in the country. As proud California women owned and operated business, we proudly celebrate this history making moment with every hard working women and mothers around the globe, this is a start! We strongly challenge the rest of the country to follow in Governor Brown’s footsteps.

Video Credit: ABC 7 News San Francisco 

Do your research, and understand how this may impact your job or compensation

The new law explicitly states “Any employee receiving less than the wage to which the employee is entitled under this section may recover in a civil action the balance of the wages, including interest thereon, and an equal amount as liquidated damages, together with the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney’s fees, notwithstanding any agreement to work for a lesser wage.” Senate Bill 358

Senator of CA 19th District, Hannah-Beth Jackson
Senator of CA & Author of Senate Bill 358, Hannah-Beth Jackson

Fair Pay Act author, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), cited that in 2014, female workers in California earned 84 cents to every dollar men earned, on average. This wage gap is even more substantial for women of color. For example, Latinas in California make 44 cents for every dollar that white males make – the largest gap for Latinas in the nation. According to Henning Ruiz Law Farm  . On September 30, 2015 Jackson headed to Washington D.C. to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss her experience authoring the Senate Bill 358 “It’s terrific that California’s efforts to close the wage gap women face by passing my Senate Bill 358 are getting noticed around the country, “ said Jackson, who is also chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. “Not only was the California Legislature able to pass what will be the strongest equal pay law in the country once it is signed, we were able to do so with bipartisan and widespread support and the support of the business community.  I hope that California’s leadership on this issue helps blaze a trail for other states to follow. applauds everyone that was instrumental into making this dream a reality for women in California as well as across the globe. Gender and Wage inequality was identified as part of the Millennium Development Goals by United Nation. We celebrate this victory on a very special month October, while wearing Pink as we continue to take strides in finding a cure for Breast Cancer.


By: Denise Williams
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