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New laws in California designed to protect women and families

Recently the problem of the gender pay gap has been brought to a forefront, especially in the tech industry. Particularly the fact that women are often times paid less than men who have similar jobs. This is a form of sex discrimination and while it has been illegal for some time, it is still a problem and it appears in more than just the tech industry. This is fundamentally unfair to women and if it is occurring the women may have legal recourse against the employer.

The Governor in California recently passed two new laws aimed at protecting women even further. Both are effective January 1, 2018. One is a direct attempt to help stop employers' practices that help them justify why they may pay a woman less than a man with similar jobs. The new law states that employers cannot ask a prospective employee what they earned at their last job. It also requires employers to provide "pay scales" for the position if the employee requests it.

This law is designed to stop employer practice of basing their salary offers on past employment. If the woman was paid less at her new job, using this information could ensure that she would be paid less at her next job, perpetuating the practice of paying women less.

The other law provides additional protections for women and men, but ultimately grants additional protections for families. The law expands the existing law granting both women and men leave after the birth or adoption of a child. The current law states that employers with 50 employees or more must grant this leave. The new law states that employers with 20 or more employees must provide this leave, which greatly expands the number of employees covered by the law.

These new laws in California will hopefully help stop some of the sex discrimination that is present. However, despite the new laws, there will be employers who violate them. If they do employees may have claims against their employers and be entitled to compensation for the damages they suffer. Experienced attorneys understand these laws and may be able to protect employees' rights.

Source: www.bizjournals.com, "Two laws offer new protections to California women and families" Dan Handman, Nov. 3, 2017

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