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Stronger equal-pay protections for women and people of color coming soon in California

Reporting from Sacramento

Stronger equal-pay protections for women and people of color coming soon in California

State Sen. Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) authored one of the pay-equity bills the governor signed Friday. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State Sen. Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) authored one of the pay-equity bills the governor signed Friday. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Equal-pay laws in California will get tougher under two bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday.

The two new laws will strengthen wage-equity protections for women and people of color. 

One will prohibit employers from paying women less than male colleagues based on prior salary. The other will bar employers from paying workers doing “substantially similar” jobs different wages based on their race or ethnicity.

The announcement comes less than a year after California lawmakers passed one of the toughest equal-pay bills in the country. That law applied the “substantially similar” provision to protect against gender-based wage discrimination.

The bills signed Friday take effect Jan. 1.

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