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Gov. Jerry Brown kills proposal for disclosure of salary information by gender

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). (Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times)
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego). (Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure on Sunday that would have required large companies in California to disclose data on how they’re paying men and women differently.

The measure, AB 1209 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) sought to shed light on gender pay disparities to better understand the persistent pay gap women face. Companies would have had to report to the state aggregate data on the difference in wages between male and female employees with similar job descriptions, as well as compensation disparities between male and female board members.

Brown's veto message sounded a note of caution about the bill's "ambiguous" details. "I am worried that this ambiguity could be exploited to encourage more litigation than pay equity."

The proposal was fiercely opposed by business interests. The California Chamber of Commerce labeled it a "job killer," arguing the measure was meant to shame companies for wage disparities without taking into consideration other justifications for differences in pay.

"We know there is a wage gap at all levels of work. This is indisputable," Gonzalez Fletcher said in a statement on Sunday after Brown rejected the bill. "Policies that tinker on the edges will help, but until we become honest with ourselves and transparent, we will spend decades tackling this issue."

Updates

5:30 p.m. This story was updated with a comment from the governor's veto message.

5:37 p.m. This story was updated with a comment from the bill's author.

The story was originally published at 5:12 p.m.

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