Men and women in California both have the required skills to do many of the same jobs. Therefore, for many companies both men and women have similar jobs. However, this was not always the case and certain employers still hire more men than women or hire men for the higher paid positions. Also, sometimes even if a woman has a similar job as a man, the woman is paid less than the man. This situation is getting better, but it still exists. It is also an illegal business practice.
The law requires employers to give both men and women equal opportunity to the same jobs and to equal pay for their work. When people think about equal pay though, they generally only think about base salary or hourly rate. However, equal pay goes well beyond simply the same base pay.
Employers also must give both men and women equal fringe benefits. These can include bonuses, stock options, vacation and holiday pay, reimbursement for travel expenses including hotel, gasoline and other expenses, life insurance, benefits and other forms of compensation. If any type of compensation is lower for one sex, the employer is not simply allowed to reduce the pay of the sex who is making more. They must increase the pay of the sex earning less.
Despite the fact that there is a law stating that employers must provide equal pay, not all employers do this. If they are not providing equal pay, the underpaid employees may have claims under both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII for sex discrimination. If the employee is successful in both or either claim, the employer may need to compensate the employees accordingly.
While employers in general are getting better with equal pay and equal opportunity for men and women, unequal pay is still prevalent in California. If this is occurring the employee may have multiple claims against the employer and may receive compensation for being underpaid. These are complicated matters though and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through the process.
Source: www.eeoc.gov, “Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination” accessed Nov. 8, 2017