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Understanding the California Equal Pay Act’s Protections

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2023 | Employment Law - Employee, Wrongful Termination

California’s Equal Pay Act became effective in 1949. Today, there are several new amendments to the original law. People who are paid unfairly or suspect that employers are paying them less because of their gender can benefit from learning more about it.

What is the Equal Pay Act?

The Equal Pay Act exists to prevent pay inequality between the sexes. It applies to jobs that are substantially similar. For example, consider this scenario. A man and woman start working at the same time in the same job role at a company and have similar experience or education levels. If the man receives a higher wage despite equal qualifications, that is unfair to the woman. The woman in that example can contact an employment law attorney to help her fight for fair wages.

How does the law protect California workers?

The amendments to the Equal Pay Act make it harder for employers to justify unequal pay. They also allow for similar duties instead of the exact same duties. Additionally, the added anti-retaliation protection means that workers can attempt to file claims without fear of unfair termination. If an employer retaliates with termination, the victim may be reinstated and receive compensation. Under the law, employers cannot tell workers they cannot discuss wages with coworkers. These changes make it easier for employees to identify and report violations. Employers must provide proof of legitimate reasons for any pay differences between two workers in similar roles.

According to the Equal Pay Act, employees who experience unfair pay have two years from the date the violation took place to file a claim. An attorney handles the process and all the correspondence with any involved parties. The law protects employees who file claims with anonymity until their claims are investigated and determined valid.