SF Chronicle: Time to require equal pay for similar work

August 20, 2015

Everybody’s talking about raising the minimum wage now that San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle have paved the way toward $15 per hour, and UC President Janet Napolitano said she is raising the wage of several thousand university workers. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, is focused on another aspect of worker pay — long overdue changes in state law that seek equal pay for women.

Her SB358, if passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor as it should be, would make California’s equal pay protections for both sexes the strongest in the nation.

California has had an equal pay law on the books since 1949, but its language has made it ineffective today and largely unenforceable, especially as the nature of work has changed with digital technology. The proof: Despite the rise in the proportion of women in the state’s workforce over the past 65 years, female workers still earn 84 cents for every $1 earned by male workers. The gender pay gap is even wider (44 cents) for Latinas.

Read more here.