Legislation that supporters say will make California the nation's leader on assuring men and women are paid the same for similar jobs has landed on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has promised to sign it into law.
The final vote in the California Legislature on Senate Bill 358 was unanimous in the state Senate on Monday, a sign at how both labor and business groups have joined ranks on the proposal.
"This is a momentous day for California, and it's long overdue," said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, the author of SB 358.
The bill was introduced earlier this year as part of a package of proposals aimed at helping women in the workforce. Its main provision says that women must be paid the same as their male colleagues "for substantially similar work," unless the employer qualifies for one of a set or narrow exemptions.
SB 358 also imposes a ban on any retaliation against women who discuss their pay, or ask about the salaries of colleagues, while on the job. And it allows employees to challenge wage gaps that exist at different worksites -- for example, said Jackson's staff, when a grocery chain's clerks are paid differently at different stores for the same duties.