If you are a job seeker or an employee in California, you may have heard about the new pay transparency law that took effect on January 1, 2023. Indeed, we recently posted on the topic. This law requires employers with 15 or more employees to disclose the pay range for any job they advertise, and to provide the pay scale for your own position upon request.
The law also requires employers with 100 or more employees to report detailed pay data by race, sex and job category to California’s Civil Rights Department every year. However, how do workers report violations of this new law?
If you believe that an employer has violated the pay transparency law by not providing the pay scale or by posting a job without a pay range, you can file a written complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office within 1 year from the date you learned of the violation.
The Labor Commissioner can investigate your complaint and issue a penalty of $100 to $10,000 per violation against the employer. You can also file a complaint if you believe that an employer has retaliated against you for requesting or discussing pay information.
Civil Rights Department
If you believe that an employer has violated the pay data reporting law by not submitting their annual report to the California Civil Rights Department, you can file a written complaint within one year from the date you learned of the violation. The department can investigate your complaint and issue a penalty of $500 per day for each day that the report is late.
If you believe that an employer has discriminated against you based on your gender, race or other protected characteristic in terms of pay or other compensation, you can file a lawsuit in court under the California Equal Pay Act within 2 years from the date of the last discriminatory paycheck (or 3 years if the violation was willful).
You can seek damages such as back pay, interest, liquidated damages (equal to back pay) and attorney’s fees and costs. You can also seek injunctive relief, such as an order for the employer to stop discriminating and adjust your pay accordingly.