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New law makes gender wage information public

In California, companies will soon be required to file information about gender wage differences. Starting on July 1, 2019, this information will be submitted biennially, and it will be published online for public viewing once proper protocols have been established.

Specifically, employers required to comply with this requirement must show the difference between mean and median wages between male and female exempt employees. Exempt is defined as someone who is not subject to overtime requirements. This information must be provided for every job title or classification for workers in the state. Furthermore, employers must provide the difference in mean and median wages between male and female board members.

Employers must also reveal how many employees were used for the purposes of these figures. As a general rule, it is against California law to pay a worker less than another worker who performs similar duties based on gender alone. However, a gap in pay between a man and a woman in a similar position may not necessarily violate the law. Companies will have the opportunity to provide a defense for why this may have occurred if it does.

If a worker is subject to illegal work discrimination, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against the employer. Discrimination may occur if a worker is paid less than others in a similar role based on gender. An attorney may use pay records and other information to show that a worker was paid less than others. If it can be shown that it was based on gender, that worker may be entitled to compensation.

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