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California's Fair Pay Act

California's Fair Pay Act (California Labor Code § 1197.5) became effective on January 1, 2017.  Briefly, the law prohibits pay differentials as between men and women, as well as among both races and ethnicities, for "substantially similar work."  Exceptions are allowed in the context of seniority systems, merit systems, systems measuring the quantity or quality of production, or other "bona fide" factors other than sex, race and ethnicity.  In the face of a lawsuit, however, the employer bears the burden of proving the existence of an appropriate exception.

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