AB 1676 was introduced by Assembly Members Campos and Gonzalez on January 19, 2016. The bill amends the “California Fair Pay Act” (SB 358) which was enacted last year. The California Fair Pay Act strengthened an existing statute that prohibits paying women less than men for doing similar work. AB 1676 adds race and ethnicity to the law; so an employer cannot pay employees of a particular race or ethnicity less than others for similar work. In addition, AB 1676 provides that, “Prior salary shall not, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation.”
- AB 1676 has passed both houses and is on the Governor’s desk.
- The effect on public employers should be minimal since paying employees differently based on race or ethnicity has been illegal under other statutes for a long time.
- With respect to the prohibition on using prior salary as a sole basis to justify any disparity, that also should have minimal effect on public employers since it does not prohibit asking applicants for their salary history. As introduced, AB 1676 would have prohibited employers from asking applicants for salary history. But the bill was later amended to remove that prohibition.