Wage Gap Discrimination in California

Are you or is someone you know concerned about wage gap discrimination in California? There are several ways a wage gap can manifest itself. The good news is, there is often something you can do about wage gap discrimination in California.

Read on to learn more:

California’s Wage Gap

In California, the median annual pay for a woman who holds a full-time, year-round job is $43,335, while the median annual pay for a man who holds a full-time, year-round job is $50,562. This means that women in California are paid 86 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $7,227. The wage gap can be even larger for women of color. Among California women who hold full-time, year-round jobs, Black women are paid 63 cents, Latinas are paid 43 cents, and Asian women are paid 72 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

California’s gender wage gap spans the state. In 44 out of 53 (83%) of California’s congressional districts, the median yearly pay for women who work full time, year-round is less than the median yearly pay for men who do.

Interesting Facts

Wage gaps are smallest for younger adults and increase as workers get older. There are even a handful of industries, such as healthcare; community and social services; and life, physical, and social science, where median wages for young women aged 25 to 30 are the same or somewhat more than for men. However, that parity disappears among older workers as men’s wages outpace women’s.

What to do if You Suspect Wage Gap Discrimination

Pursuant to California Labor Code Section 1197.5, it is generally illegal to pay an individual a lower wage rate than those paid to workers of the opposite sex or gender who are performing the same work for the same employer. This is also true with regards to members of different ethnic groups. Discrimination arises, essentially, when employers fail to treat all persons equally when no reasonable distinction can be found between those favored and those disfavored. Work is substantially similar when it is performed under similar working conditions and requires similar skill, effort, and responsibility. Factors to consider include the experience, training, education, and ability needed to perform the work; the degree of physical or mental exertion involved in the work; and the degree of accountability or duties associated with the job.

If you suspect wage gap discrimination in your workplace, there are things you can do. Employees who are receiving lower pay than a coworker of a different gender, race, or ethnicity in a substantially similar job may file an administrative complaint with the California Labor Commissioner or file suit in court. The timeline for filing a claim or lawsuit is typically two years from the equal pay violation.

If you or someone you know is working under a discriminatory wage gap, whether it is divided by gender, ethnicity, or some other identifier, you may need an attorney to assist you with your claim.