California boasts some of the toughest “fair pay” laws in the country—yet the average full-time working woman has been earning only 86 cents for every dollar earned by a man. A recent study concluded that gap won’t close before the year 2043.
Two female lawmakers don’t intend to wait that long.
The Legislature, which in the past two years has approved a series of bills aimed at gender pay equity for substantially similar work, is considering going even further this session. The first proposal would bar a prospective employer from asking a job applicant about prior salary; the second would require large employers to publicly disclose the median earnings of salaried employees and board members, by gender.
“This is an issue I remember writing high school papers about—and it’s still an issue,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of San Diego, who has introduced one of the bills and co-authored the second. She cited the 2043 forecast by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.