[JURIST] The California Senate [official website] on Monday unanimously approved Senate Bill 358 [text], which would strengthen existing equal pay policies and help close the remaining gender pay gap. The bill broadens existing policies by stating that women must be paid the same for doing “substantially similar” work. The bill also protects workers from retaliation based on sharing their wages and comparing in order to facilitate the new measure. The measure now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has promised to sign it into law.
The gender pay gap [JURIST op-ed] is an issue in other countries as well. In March the UK House of Lords [official website] debated a bill [JURIST report] passed through Parliament [official website] that would require certain businesses to reveal whether there are differences in the pay of male and female employees. A group of UN experts on the issue of discrimination against women reported [JURIST report] in March that “no country has achieved full substantive equality of women.” In contemplation of International Women’s Day on March 8, Eurostat [official website], the statistical office of the European Union (EU) revealed [press release] that women, on average, earned 16 percent less than men in the EU, and that the UK has the sixth-largest gender pay gap within the EU.