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New year brings new equal pay law for California

There are many reasons people love living in California, not the least of which is the exceptional working conditions brought about by our state's powerful employee rights laws. The ADA certainly provides workers all across the country with rights and protections, but California's FEHA serves as proof that our state goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to taking care of workers and treating them fairly. Thanks to recent legislation, employee paychecks will be more equitable in 2016.

At the core of California's mission for employee rights, is the idea that everyone should be treated equally, and that no person who wants to work should be denied the ability to do so or be incentivized not to do so through harassment or discrimination. For many years, female workers have struggled in the economy, earning significantly less than their male cohorts. No longer.

Thanks to Senate Bill 358, which has gone into effect with the turn of the new year, equal pay will be a legal requirement for jobs that are substantially similar. This does not only mean that a male and female nurse will be paid the same, but that a female housekeeper will earn the same as a male janitor, in most cases. Additionally, the law will permit the employees to freely discuss their pay grades with one another, ensuring that everyone is aware of who is getting paid for what kind of work.

This is yet another reason that California leads the way when it comes to employee rights in our country. It is also something that everyone should be aware of so that they can take advantage. If you believe that you are not being paid the same amount of money as another person for similar work, consider meeting with an attorney and learning if you could take legal action.

Source: ABC7, "CALIFORNIA'S NEW EQUAL PAY LAW IS STRONGEST IN COUNTRY, AUTHORS SAY," Anabel Munoz, Dec. 30, 2015

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