Over the past decades, real progress has been made in securing equal rights for women and girls in many aspects of life, including employment. In 2007, 59.3% of women age 16 and over were in the workforce, a number currently holding steady. But in the workplace, women still often find discrimination. Though women comprise almost half of the U.S. labor force, they still average only 77.8% of men's wages (African-American women earned only 68.7% and Latinas 59% of men's earnings).
Women frequently have major caregiving responsibilities in addition to their job duties and are often the victims of discrimination and harassment. Low-income women, women of color and immigrant women often feel the greatest effects of discrimination and sexual harassment. Even women business owners experience challenges in getting loans, contracts, and equal opportunity. Data regarding women serving on corporate boards and in high level management positions demonstrates that true equality still has not been achieved in the workplace.
The Commission continues its long history of advocating for pay equity, family friendly workplaces, and the elimination of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
To learn more about these issues, please see below.
Family Medical Leave Act/California Family Rights Act
- The California Family Rights Act - California Version of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (PDF)
- Newborn Family Leave: Effects on Children, Parents, and Business (PDF) - Prepared for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation by Deanna Gomby Consulting
- Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDF)
Paid Family Leave
- Paid Family Leave - Apply for Benefits
- Leaves that Pay: Employer and Worker Experience with Paid Family Leave in California - By Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman, 2011
- Viewpoints: Family leave program has proved its value, but it could do more - By Netsy Firestein, January 25, 2011
Paid Sick Leave
Women in Business
- 2010 UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders - A Census of Women Directors and Highest-Paid Executives, published December, 2010
- Are Women Now Half the Labor Force? The Truth about Women and Equal Participation in the Labor Force (PDF) - Institute for Women's Policy Research, April 2010
- The Importance of Women Breadwinners (www.americanprogress.org) - Center for American Progress, April 30, 2009
- Five Key Laws for Parents: These California Laws Allow You to Take Time to Nurture your Child (PDF)
- Obama Says Flexible Workplace Not Just a Woman's Issue - October 5, 2010
- Workforce Development Fact Sheet (PDF) - Women in Government Family Economic Success Policy Resource Center, June 2009
- Encouraging Family-Friendly Workplace Policies (www.americanprogress.org) - Center for American Progress, March 3, 2009
- Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short (PDF) - By the Working Poor Families Project - October 2008
- Informational Resources for California's Working Families - Provided by the Labor Project for Working Families
- Overtime Pay/Alternative Work Schedules (PDF)
- Time off for School Activities (PDF)
- A Job and A Life: Organizing and Bargaining for Work and Family Issues - Guidebook (www.workingfamilies.org) - Labor Project for Working Families
- An Economy the Puts Families First: Expanding the Social Contract to Include Family Care (PDF) - Economic Policy Institute, May 2007
- National Council for Research on Women (NCRW) Big Five Campaign: Economic Security (PDF) - Policy Brief
Visit our employment links/resources section for additional information.