Wage disparities between men and women continue to be a significant problem even today. In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that female full-time wage and salary workers only made 88% of what their male counterparts made. (https://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/womensearnings_california.htm) So, for every $100 a man earns, his female counterpart only earns $88. Recently, two tech giants have been in the news because female employees filed lawsuits for gender-pay discrimination.
In recent years there have been several legislative changes strengthening the equal pay law in California. The California Equal Pay Act prohibits an employer for paying a male employee more than a female employee “for substantially similar work.” Cal. Labor Code § 1197.5. The California Equal Pay Act applies to all California employers, regardless of the size of the employer. The California Equal Pay Act also prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against an employee for invoking rights provided by the law or helping another person invoke her rights under the law.
On January 1, 2017, the Fair Pay Act was expanded to address compensation disparities between members of one race or ethnicity and those of another race or ethnicity. For example, women of color are often paid less than white women, and the changes to the law allow women of color to make a claim where this occurs. See Cal. Labor Code § 1197.5(b)