October 01, 2020

Lynne Anderson Comments on California Law Requiring Employers to Report Pay Info by Gender and Race

In the article “California Steps Up to Collect Pay Data, With Feds at Square One,” Bloomberg Law reports on new California legislation that authorizes a collection of wage data, broken down by race, sex, ethnicity, and job category, on or before March 31, 2021.

The legal industry publication turned to labor and employment partner Lynne Anderson for insight on the law and whether other states may follow suit.

Bloomberg Law reports that legislation proposed in other states such as New York and Rhode Island also sought to require employers with 100 or more employees to report pay data to the state, although the bills have not won lawmakers’ approval.

Anderson told the publication that “We very well may see other states to follow suit” on the data reporting mandate “in the same way we saw other states follow suit in enacting more aggressive pay equity laws going back to 2016.”

The California mandate, similar to the EEOC’s previous data collection, also raises concerns for employers regarding the reliability of the data and how state regulators will use it for tougher enforcement, Anderson said. For example, the reporting requirements call for forcing every job title into one of a list of categories, where some jobs might not fit neatly and some jobs that aren’t “substantially similar” might end up appearing that way in the data, she said.

“We have some of the same warts in terms of the process,” Anderson said.

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