California State Senate Passes Pay Equity Bill
On September 11, 2007, the California State Senate passed AB 437, which clarifies that the time period for alleging pay discrimination claims runs from the date of each payment there is a discriminatory wage. The bill, which passed with a vote of 22 to 15, was introduced by California Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento).
Jones’ office released a video Web Report on AB 437, which explains the background of the legislation that is intended to reverse the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
AB 437 makes California the first state to introduce its own version of a pending federal bill (The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ), a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives at the end of July to clarify federal discrimination law in the wake of the Ledbetter decision. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate (“The Fair Pay Restoration Act”).
The California bill must still pass the State Assembly and be signed by the governor. The bill is supported by women’s rights, civil rights, and labor groups, but faces stiff opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce.
by Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs