SB 682 - This act modifies provisions relating to employment practices based on gender.
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 paying an employee of any gender wages less than those paid to employees of the opposite gender for the same work performed under similar working conditions. Certain exceptions are made for wage payment differentials that 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 this act.
The act redefines wages to include all compensation and specifically includes bonuses, stock options, awards or tips, non-monetary compensation, and any compensation that has economic value to an employee.
The act creates a civil cause of action for violations of this act. Employees may seek recovery of actual damages and compensatory damages, not to exceed twice the wages awarded. Furthermore, an employee prevailing in an action may recover reasonable attorney's fees and court costs. Courts are authorized to issue an injunction against employers for violation of the provisions of the act.
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.
Current law requires an action alleging an unlawful payment practice based on gender to be brought within 6 months of the date of the alleged violation. This act permits actions to be brought within two years of the alleged violation.
This act is substantially similar to SB 628 (2020), HB 1864 (2020), SB 95 (2019), SB 700 (2018), SB 1064 (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 2403 (2016), HB 2660 (2016), SB 247 (2015), SB 873 (2004) and HB 1069 (2002) and similar to HB 349 (2011), SB 647 (2010), and HB 1962 (2010).