Story at a glance
- A new California Senate bill is aiming to shrink the state’s gender and racial pay gaps through wage transparency.
- Under the bill, California employers with more than 100 workers would be required to publicly report how much they pay their workers.
- A recent analysis of California’s gender and racial pay gaps revealed that women in the state lost $46 billion in 2020, while people of color lost a staggering $61 billion.
A California Senate bill is seeking to close the gender and racial wage gap through transparency, requiring employers in the state with more than 100 employees to publicly report how much they pay their workers.
The Senate bill introduced Friday would also require companies to include in their pay data reports of the median and average hourly rate for each of their employees — temporary, contract and contingent workforce — broken down by gender, ethnicity and job category.
“Pay transparency is key to achieving pay equity,” the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Monique Limón (D), wrote on Twitter, adding that the bill “will help identify the gender and race-based pay disparities by requiring pay transparency at every stage of the employment process, from hiring to promotion, and ongoing employment.”
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The bill’s introduction comes after another Senate bill last year authorized the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to enforce annual reporting requirements for businesses in the state. An analysis of those reports revealed women in California lost $46 billion in 2020, while people of color lost a staggering $61 billion.
Nationally, women make just 82 percent of what men earn annually, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). At the current rate of progress, the gender pay gap won’t close until 2111, the American Association of University Women has estimated.
In California, where the bill was introduced, women earn just 79 cents on the dollar, according to the BLS.
The racial pay gap is even more pronounced, and Black full-time workers in the U.S. earn roughly 78 percent of what white workers make, according to the BLS, while Latino workers earn about 75 percent.
In California, Black workers make just 72 cents for every dollar earned by white workers, according to the BLS. Native American or American Indian workers make 70 cents on the dollar and Latino workers earn 62 cents.
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