Frequently Asked Questions
What state and federal agencies enforce equal pay laws?
In California, the Labor Commissioner’s Office (also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or DLSE) has the authority to enforce Labor Code Section 1197.5, which prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex, or of a different race or ethnicity for substantially similar work.
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) enforces the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which among other things, precludes the discrimination in employment on the basis of gender, ethnicity, and race. Paying different wages due to an employee’s gender, race, or ethnicity is considered discrimination.
At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the federal Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and Title I of the American Disabilities Act of 1990, which preclude discrimination in employment, such as unequal compensation, based upon protected classifications.