October 9, 2015
This week, California has passed milestone legislation with the Right-to-Die law and the Fair Pay Act. It was the 5th state to pass the Right-to-Die law, which allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with prescription drugs. Additionally, it took a leap in closing the gender wage gap as Governor Jerry Brown signed the Fair Pay Act.
As the U.S. Census Bureau reported this year, women earn a median 84 cents to every dollar that a man makes. The Fair Pay Act takes effect on January 1, 2016 and demands that women and men doing “substantially similar work,” regardless of title and location, must earn the same amount of money.
If an employer is sued over wage differences, then they must be able to prove that the deviation in pay between employees doing similar work is due to seniority or a difference in acquired skills. That goes to say that wage gaps must be solely based on job performance and merit, rather than gender.
Some lawyers feel that the phrase “substantially the same work” rather than “equal pay for equal work” will drive businesses out of California. According to The National Partnership for Women & Families, California’s new law is the strictest in the nation.
It’s a large step for wo(men) and a giant leap for the country.