On October 6, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, an initiative designed to close the gender wage gap in the state. The Act changes terminology to permit an employee to prove that he or she received lower wages for “substantially similar” work instead of “equal work” and also drops the requirement that wage discrimination claims be based on a comparison of the wages of male and female employees in the same establishment. The Act also prohibits employers from interfering with employees’ ability to discuss and share information about their wages.
These recent state actions, coupled with the publication of OFCCP’s pay transparency rule, signal increased momentum in the movement toward openness and equality in compensation.
The California Fair Pay Act has been touted by many as the strictest equal pay law in the country, and there is no doubt that OFCCP will be watching the implementation and implications of both states’ pay equity laws. Federal contractors and subcontractors should expect more enterprise-wide reviews of compensation and the possibility that OFCCP may attempt to have employers justify pay disparities despite differences in facility size or location.
Kiosha is a 2004 graduate of Columbia College, where she majored in English and minored in Political Science. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2007. After law school, Kiosha clerked for the Honorable J. Michelle Childs (former Circuit Court Judge, Fifth Judicial Circuit and current U.S. District Court Judge, District of South Carolina). Kiosha joined the team at Ogletree Deakins in August 2015, where she is a member of the Affirmative...