The federal Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 in order to guarantee equal pay for the same work done by men and women at the same employer. Despite this law and many state laws that mirror this intention, a sizable pay gap continues to exist. California recently enacted the Fair Pay Act in order to bridge the gap and attempt to create more wage equality across the board. California found that women still make only 84 cents on the dollar for the same work as men, and this is true for all occupations. Part of the problem comes also from society's persisting beliefs on occupational segregation and that there are certain jobs more suitable for men than women and vice versa. Another problem comes from the fact that many employers engage in wage secrecy, even though it is illegal. Still, employees are led to believe that they cannot inquire about another employee's wage without being subject to retaliation, or some employers even prohibit discussions between employees about their wages in order to keep any gaps from being exposed. California's law does not guarantee to fix all equal pay issues, but it is the first state law to take a hard look at the wage gap and make strides to solve the problem that Congress has so far failed to do.
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