Monday, January 25, 2016

SB 358 Fair Pay Act

Yesterday I received a call from Laura Sydell of National Public Radio asking how small businesses were going to deal with SB 358 the Fair Pay Act which will become effective Jan 1. I said I was not sure if most small businesses knew about the bill and  had probably not given much thought as  to  how they were going to address it in their company.
What the bill does, is require employers to provide  equal  pay to employees regardless of their gender, if they are  performing substantially similar  functions regardless of their  job titles. It also says employers will be required to pay employees equally even if they work at different locations. This of course is subject to business factors like different minimum wage laws per location or cost of living but it is not clearly spelled out in the legislation
Lastly, it allows employees to  be able to discuss their income  with fellow employees without being subject to discrimination from their employer.
The employer does have some protection if they can prove the income differences are based on seniority or merit., education, and training.
The reason cited for the bill is that women in California make 84% of what men make. Nationally the number is 74%. This law appears to be the strongest  state law for gender equality in the United States.
It should be noted that the California Chamber of Commerce supported the bill saying it would reduce lawsuits by clarifying how employers can protect themselves. This however is disputed by some others in the legal community. I don’t think any reasonable  person  would argue  the point that there should be gender equality and employers should be held accountable,  but as always the devil is in the details,
Are you aware of this bill and are you taking steps to change your employment policies if necessary? For full details of this bill go to

Small Business California would like to wish all of you a successful, safe and healthy New Year . I hope for 2016 one of your resolutions will be to speak out and let the small business voice be heard  among state and local legislators and the Governor.

Scott Hauge
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116


1 comment:

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