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We’re thrilled that Stronger CA priority bill “Closing the Salary History Loophole” (AB 2282 - Eggman) was fast-tracked by Governor Jerry Brown and signed into law on July 18.

This bill will close a significant loophole in California’s ban on using prior salary history to justify pay discrimination: Until now, employers could point to a person’s prior salary to justify paying them less, as long as they could also point to other, different factors. Under 2282, prior salary cannot be used at all to justify wage disparities under the California Equal Pay Act, which prohibits unequal pay based on gender, race or ethnicity.

Introduced by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, AB 2282 was co-sponsored by Stronger California members Equal Rights Advocates, AAUW, and the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

 

Why is AB 2282 important?


  • No more waiting to find out what a job pays


AB 2282 will also require employers to provide a position’s salary range or hourly wage scale to a prospective employee (i.e. job applicant) upon “reasonable request” -- any time after the applicant completes an initial interview with the employer.


This means no more wasting weeks, taking off work, or traveling for multiple interviews only to find out a prospective job pays way too little. For working single moms, low-wage workers, and many others in California, this is a huge victory.

 
  • Breaking the cycle of pay discrimination

Prior salary often comes with a built-in history of discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, and/or gender.

By making it clear that a person’s prior salary or hourly wage cannot justify any gender or race-based pay differential for equal work (whether by itself, or accompanied by lawful factors), AB 2282 closes a significant loophole and allows California to continue leading the nation on equal pay laws.


Now, employers can only rely on legitimate, non race or sex-based factors to justify paying one employee less than a co-worker of a different sex or race for equal work.


This interpretation is consistent with a federal opinion by the 9th Circuit issued in April, which said employers cannot use prior salary at all (neither alone, nor with other lawful factors) to justify pay disparities under the federal Equal Pay Act, because “[r]eliance on past wages simply perpetuates the past pervasive discrimination that the Equal Pay Act seeks to eradicate.” (Equal Rights Advocates argued before an en banc panel in this case.)


By seeking salary history from job applicants and relying on it to set a new employee’s pay rate, employers perpetuate historical discrimination and wage inequalities across the every job sector. Women earn less than men starting just one year out of college, even when controlling for factors like major, occupation, and hours worked. Because women frequently begin their careers earning lower salaries than men, they remain at a stark disadvantage throughout their working lives, especially when employers set pay based on prior salaries.


To support other bills in Equal Rights Advocates 2018 Stronger California legislative agenda -- to reduce pay discrimination, help end sexual harassment, increase protections for domestic workers, and make child care more affordable -- click here.

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100+ civil and human rights organizations are urging the Senate to oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Read the full letter detailing why Kavanaugh will be a disaster here.

 

 

Monday night, Trump announced his pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

Since then, we’ve heard from the White House about what 34 conservative white men have to say in support of Kavanaugh, and we’ve heard a clap-back by 34 women across political affiliations with their deep concerns about his nomination and the threat of a strongly conservative majority on the Supreme Court bench.

While we love a dad who spends time coaching his daughter’s basketball team, we have no love for a pops who will then turn around and use his power to block someone else's daughter's reproductive freedom. For anyone looking to protect our constitution and civil rights in this country, Kavanaugh is the wrong pick for the Supreme Court:

  • Kavanaugh ruled in favor of the Trump-Pence Administration's efforts to block a 17-year old immigrant woman from getting an abortion.
  • He agrees that employers' religious beliefs supersede their employees' access to birth control.
  • He's stated that a sitting president should not be the subject of criminal investigations - signaling to Trump that he won't be a check on the executive branch.

The battle over the SCOTUS pick's confirmation will be a close one, likely coming down to a single Senator’s vote. Vocal opposition is needed from  supporters of civil rights in key states with Senators who are at the heart of the Kavanaugh confirmation tug-of-war:


ALASKA – Senator Murkowski (R) was famously 1 of 3 Republican Senators to vote against gutting the Affordable Care Act. She voted to confirm Justice Gorsuch. Murkowski isn't up for re-election until 2022.


MAINE – Senator Collins (R) was right there along with Senator Collins in voting against pulling apart ObamaCare. She did, however, also vote to confirm Gorsuch. Collins is up for re-election in 2020. 


ALABAMA – Senator Jones (D) wasn’t in office for the Gorsuch vote, and isn’t facing re-election until 2020. However, he’s in a state with a solid conservative base and is likely feeling pressure to confirm Kavanaugh. Jones was invited by the White House to attend the SCOTUS announcement.


INDIANA – Senator Donnelley, along with Heitkamp (North Dakota – D) and Manchin (West Virginia – D), were the only 3 Democratic Senators who voted to confirm Gorsuch. The Trump Administration also invited the trio, along with Senator Jones, to attend the SCOTUS pick announcement at the White House this past Monday night. Donnelley is up for re-election this fall.


NORTH DAKOTA – Senator Heitkamp (D) is part of the trio that is being courted by the White House and voted to confirm Gorsuch. Heitkamp is up for re-election this fall.


WEST VIRGINIA – Senator Manchin (D) is the final member of the Democratic trio that is being courted by the White House and voted to confirm Gorsuch. Manchin is also up for re-election this fall.

Let's be clear about the consequences of having Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. His confirmation would pose a direct threat to the issues we all have been fighting for: affordable health care for working moms & families; making it safe for all people to make their own family planning decisions; creating workplaces that enable working women to care for their families without worrying about harassment or discrimination based on race or gender.

The people who oppose civil rights, abortion rights, and access to health care won't rest during this confirmation battle. We can't afford to rest either. One vote will make the difference in successfully blocking Kavanaugh's ascension to the Supreme Court.

Make your resistance known by filling out the form below to send a message to your Senators:

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For years, Title IX protected transgender and gender nonconforming (GNC) students from discrimination at school. But the Trump Administration’s Department of Education rescinded these protections, putting some of America’s most vulnerable students at even greater risk.

When Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education rolled back Obama-era Title IX “Dear Colleague letter” guidelines last February, it was a direct attack on the civil rights of students across the country.

Not only did the rollback create barriers to healing and justice for students who survive sexual violence, but in clarifying their new Title IX “guidelines,” DeVos’s team seized the opportunity to tell LGBTQI students that the federal government no longer has their backs.

Of all the students whose safety and well-being is now threatened by Title IX rollbacks, trans and GNC students are likely at greatest risk. The policy changes attack the rights of these students on two fronts: (1) They create the possibility for states or schools to implement practices that openly discriminate against trans and GNC students based on gender identity, and (2) they put a population that already faces exponentially high rates of sexual violence in even greater danger.

 

Encouraging Gender-Identity Discrimination

Title IX, Title VI, and Title II were created to ensure all students in the U.S. have equal access to education. While it should go without saying, the Obama administration clarified that these protections extend to all students in government-funded schools. So to be in compliance with federal law, a school “must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity” — until last February.

The Trump administration officially rescinded this common-sense guidance in favor of a discriminatory policy, saying “Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity.” While the rollback doesn’t change the law, it does give states and school districts more flexibility to interpret Title IX as an opportunity to mistreat students based on gender or gender identity, in direct opposition to the law’s original intent.

An example of this misinterpretation in action? In states without strong protections for trans kids, students from grade school through grad school could now potentially be barred from using the bathroom of their gender. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this type of ostracization has serious long-term consequences.

“Transgender children are already at increased risk for violence, bullying, harassment and suicide. They may be more prone to depression and engaging in self-harm. ... Policies excluding transgender youth from facilities consistent with their gender identity have detrimental effects on their physical and mental health, safety and well-being.”

And if a school takes a passive reaction to ensuing bullying or ostracization, they create yet another barrier to that student’s right to equitable education. What’s worse: They could create a new risk to the student’s safety. Both outcomes are civil-rights violations of the type Title IX was created to prevent.

And if a school takes a passive reaction to ensuing bullying or ostracization, they create yet another barrier to that student’s right to equitable education. What’s worse: They could create a new risk to the student’s safety. Both outcomes are civil-rights violations of the type Title IX was created to prevent.

 

More Barriers After Sexual Violence

On top of these threats, trans and GNC students now also face greater barriers to justice and comprehensive care following an incident of sexual violence.

The trans community is subject to extremely high rates of sexual violence. 78% of GNC youth report significant abuse at school, and 86% of trans high school students say they’ve experienced sexual violence due to their gender identity, often perpetrated by other students.

These students who face such great risk can also encounter countless barriers to services and justice following an incident of sexual violence (i.e. being subject to harmful stereotypes; fear of being outed; financial barriers; barriers to competent, quality healthcare). Inevitably, these barriers ultimately contribute to some students dropping out — yet another threat to equitable education.

And with the Trump administration’s changes to Title IX, these obstacles become even more insurmountable if the sexual violence occured at school or at the hands of a classmate. Trans and GNC students, who deal with higher rates of disbelief following an assault, now have to present more evidence when trying to prove that the incident occurred — more evidence than is required of their assailant. (This new, incredibly burdensome standard applies to all student survivors of sexual violence). And so trans and GNC students, who are at greater risk of experiencing physical violence when interacting with police, may no longer be able to rely on Title IX as an alternative avenue to justice and healing if they want to avoid interacting with law enforcement.

Ultimately, DeVos’s Title IX rollback is an attack on the rights of all student survivors of sexual assault who just want to feel safe in their schools and on their campuses. But for trans and GNC students, the attack has catastrophic consequences on many levels.

 

What Are We Doing About It?

ERA is suing Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education. In January, Equal Rights Advocates — along with Democracy Forward, Surv Justice and Victims Rights Law Center, National Center for Youth Law, and National Women’s Law Center — filed suit against DeVos and the Department of Education because their new Title IX policies discriminate against student survivors of sexual violence.

Our goal is to overturn the new policies and reinstate protections for students. In doing so, we also hope to restore civil rights for trans and GNC students, and return to a path toward equality rather than taking a road back to the dark ages.

 

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Finance news site MarketWatch spoke with Equal Rights Advocates Executive Director Noreen Farrell about the persistence of pay discrimination for workers who are Latina and Hispanic:

“That is consistent with what we have seen working with Latina women in various workplaces: that discrimination is alive and well and is impoverishing many Hispanic workers,” Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, a non-profit women’s rights group said.

She noted that women also face sexual harassment in the workplace, which can come with a host of additional economic effects.

Read the full story. 

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We’re thrilled that Stronger CA priority bill “Closing the Salary History Loophole” (AB 2282 - Eggman) was fast-tracked by Governor Jerry Brown and signed into law on July 18.

This bill will close a significant loophole in California’s ban on using prior salary history to justify pay discrimination: Until now, employers could point to a person’s prior salary to justify paying them less, as long as they could also point to other, different factors. Under 2282, prior salary cannot be used at all to justify wage disparities under the California Equal Pay Act, which prohibits unequal pay based on gender, race or ethnicity.

Introduced by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman, AB 2282 was co-sponsored by Stronger California members Equal Rights Advocates, AAUW, and the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA).

 

Why is AB 2282 important?


  • No more waiting to find out what a job pays


AB 2282 will also require employers to provide a position’s salary range or hourly wage scale to a prospective employee (i.e. job applicant) upon “reasonable request” -- any time after the applicant completes an initial interview with the employer.


This means no more wasting weeks, taking off work, or traveling for multiple interviews only to find out a prospective job pays way too little. For working single moms, low-wage workers, and many others in California, this is a huge victory.

 
  • Breaking the cycle of pay discrimination

Prior salary often comes with a built-in history of discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, and/or gender.

By making it clear that a person’s prior salary or hourly wage cannot justify any gender or race-based pay differential for equal work (whether by itself, or accompanied by lawful factors), AB 2282 closes a significant loophole and allows California to continue leading the nation on equal pay laws.


Now, employers can only rely on legitimate, non race or sex-based factors to justify paying one employee less than a co-worker of a different sex or race for equal work.


This interpretation is consistent with a federal opinion by the 9th Circuit issued in April, which said employers cannot use prior salary at all (neither alone, nor with other lawful factors) to justify pay disparities under the federal Equal Pay Act, because “[r]eliance on past wages simply perpetuates the past pervasive discrimination that the Equal Pay Act seeks to eradicate.” (Equal Rights Advocates argued before an en banc panel in this case.)


By seeking salary history from job applicants and relying on it to set a new employee’s pay rate, employers perpetuate historical discrimination and wage inequalities across the every job sector. Women earn less than men starting just one year out of college, even when controlling for factors like major, occupation, and hours worked. Because women frequently begin their careers earning lower salaries than men, they remain at a stark disadvantage throughout their working lives, especially when employers set pay based on prior salaries.


To support other bills in Equal Rights Advocates 2018 Stronger California legislative agenda -- to reduce pay discrimination, help end sexual harassment, increase protections for domestic workers, and make child care more affordable -- click here.

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Our Impact: Salary History Loophole Closed!

August 10, 2018 | by

We’re thrilled that Stronger CA priority bill “Closing the Salary History Loophole” (AB 2282 – Eggman) was fast-tracked by Governor Jerry Brown and signed into law on July 18. This bill will...
read more

“Naw” to Kavanaugh: Take action to oppose the SCOTUS pick

July 13, 2018 | by

100+ civil and human rights organizations are urging the Senate to oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Read the full letter detailing why Kavanaugh will be a disaster here.    ...
read more

How Devos’s Title IX Harms Trans & GNC Students

July 3, 2018 | by

  For years, Title IX protected transgender and gender nonconforming (GNC) students from discrimination at school. But the Trump Administration’s Department of Education rescinded these...
read more

MarketWatch: Hispanic workers continue to make significantly less than white workers

July 3, 2018 | by

Finance news site MarketWatch spoke with Equal Rights Advocates Executive Director Noreen Farrell about the persistence of pay discrimination for workers who are Latina and Hispanic: “That is... read more