Do you reside and work in California? If yes, it’s important for you to know that it is against the law for a California company to pay one employee a wage lower than another worker of a different sex for the same or “substantially similar” work, according to the state’s Equal Pay Act. So, if you file an Equal Salary Act claim, you can ask for twice the difference in salary, along with interest. Considering that you took legal action, the law also enables you to recoup your legal bills and litigation expenses. The statute of limitations for violations of the Equal Pay Act is two years for non-willful offenses and three years for intentional workplace discrimination.
The Equal Pay Act:
The Equal Pay Act is there to ensure that no employee has to suffer or succumb to workplace discrimination. Note that it was updated in 2015 to include race and ethnicity. What this specifically suggests is that, based on the amendment, it is also unlawful in California to pay any employee of a certain race or ethnicity less for performing the same job than an employee of a different race or ethnicity.
Note that employees in California are permitted, at their discretion, to disclose income and compensation information. In California, it is unlawful for a company to have a policy that forbids employees from discussing their wages. Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to punish workers for disclosing wage information.
Similarly, employers are forbidden by Labor Code § 432.3 from requesting any details about a candidate’s past pay, including benefits. The rule forbids businesses from deciding what compensation or hourly rate to offer a candidate based on that person’s past earnings.
Statute of limitation:
The employee has two years to file their suit. The statute of limitations is three years if the breach was “willful,” which means that the employer knew that the employee knew about the wage disparity.
Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to defend your employee rights if your employer has been paying you a lesser amount than another employee who is of a different gender, color, or ethnicity. With the help of a workplace discrimination attorney, you can decide to file a claim under the California Equal Pay Act and get the compensation that is rightfully yours. Don’t wait too long as there is a statute of limitations as well.