Wage discrimination based on the gender of employees is illegal in California. People whose jobs require similar work must be paid equal amounts as those of the opposite gender unless an exception applies.

Under the Fair Pay Act, both private and public employers are prohibited from discriminating against workers in their pay on the basis of their genders. The law mandates that workers who perform substantially similar work must be paid the same regardless of their genders. Substantially similar work is measured according to the requisite skill, responsibility and effort of the job, and it doesn’t matter if the job titles are different if the work is the same.

Employers may pay different wages to workers who are performing substantially similar work if an exception applies. The exceptions include wage differentials that are based on the quality or quantity of production, merit systems or seniority systems. People may also be paid less than workers of the opposite gender if there is a bona fide reason for the difference. These reasons include experience, training and education. If exceptions do not apply, workers who discover that they are being paid less for doing substantially similar work as other workers of the opposite gender may have grounds to file a wage discrimination claim.

Wage discrimination in employment on the basis of gender is prohibited under state and federal law. When workers believe that their employers have discriminated against them in their pay based on their genders, they might want to consult with experienced wage and hour attorneys who can assess the claims and advise people about the next steps that should be taken.