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California Senate Raises Wages in Attempt to Close Gender Wage Gap

Feb. 15, 2017

‘It’s important to lead by example’

Following the passage of a 2015 equal-pay protections law, the California Senate raised 71 staffers’ wages by 10% to “show other businesses” that they could still “be successful” when paying men and women equally, reports the Sacramento Bee. The increased salaries total approximately $602,000 annually.
“It’s important for the Legislature to lead by example,” Dan Reeves, the chief of staff to Senate leader Kevin de León, told the Bee.
The 2015 law, Senate Bill 358, requires women in California to be paid equally for work “substantially similar” to that of their male peers, instead of just work that’s exactly the same. At the end of 2015, the Senate Rules Committee ran an analysis on its payrolls and found that women in the California Senate were making 96 cents for every dollar men earned.

Still, the Senate’s raises only closed the gap by 1 cent per dollar.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, the chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus said in a statement that the work here isn’t finished, and she will continue to work to close the wage gap at the Legislature until it’s “an example of how to achieve gender equity.”