SB 1064 - Under current law, no employer shall pay any female wage rates less than the wage rates paid to male employees for the same quantity and quality of the same classification of work. This act prohibits any employer from discriminating in providing compensation based on gender for the same work performed under similar working conditions. Certain wage payment differentials are exempted from these civil actions when they are based on merit systems, regional economic factors, factors that measure pay due to output, or other bona fide factors other than gender. Employers are prohibited from reducing wages to comply with these provisions.
The act redefines wages to include all compensation and specifically includes bonuses, stock options, awards or tips, nonmonetary compensation, and any compensation that has economic value to an employee.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who utilize the protections of this act. Furthermore, employees may file a civil action for actual and compensatory damages for such retaliation.
The act creates a civil cause of action for violations of the provisions of this act. Employees may seek recovery of actual and compensatory damages, not to exceed twice the wages awarded, for any unlawful gender-based pay practice. Courts are authorized to issue an injunction against employers for violation of the provisions of the act. This act allows for the recovery of attorney fees and court costs in any civil action brought under this section and abolishes the six-month statute of limitations for filing an action. Punitive damages may be granted by the court if a deliberate pattern of violations by the employer can be shown by the employee.
This act is substantially similar to SB 700 (2018), HB 2190 (2018), SB 205 (2017), SB 350 (2017), HB 518 (2017), HB 559 (2017), SB 695 (2016), SB 952 (2016), HB 2249 (2016), HB 2356 (2016), HB 2370 (2016), HB 2249 (2016), HB 2660 (2016), SB 247 (2015), HB 349 (2011), SB 647 (2010), HB 1962 (2010), SB 873 (2004), and HB 1069 (2002).