Employee Resources

There are many ways you can find out if you’re being appropriately compensated for your work and your particular role.


In addition to speaking with your co-workers and colleagues who do similar work as you do but work for a different employer (especially if they work in the same geographic area or region as you), check out the resources below to learn more about what the pay range looks like for people with your job and/or in your occupation in a particular area. Remember that job titles vary and can be helpful, but are not determinative, in figuring out what the appropriate compensation level is for a particular position. Resources that provide pay ranges, rather than just the average or median salary for a particular type of job, are generally more helpful. You can also cross-check different sources to find out more about what people in your job or field make, and how your salary or hourly rate compares.

Know Your Rights


What does it mean to be paid fairly under California’s Fair Pay Act?

Suppose you’ve been at a job for a while and you suspect that you are getting paid less than men at our company, agency, or organization for doing similar work – but you don’t know for sure. You’d like to do some research, but where do you start? Below are pay gap calculators you might find useful to help estimate if there is a gender pay gap where you work.

Pathways to Equity: Women and Good Jobs
Closing the Gap: 50 years Seeking Equal Pay
Economic Policy Institute: What Could You Be Making?

Information About Wages


There are many resources that employers and employees may wish to consult to determine appropriate compensation for a particular role. Please also note that job titles are not determinative but just an initial step in determining appropriate compensation for a particular role. The Task Force recommends consulting resources that provide a pay range, rather than the median compensation for a particular role. It is also recommended that more than one resource be consulted.


If I Am Not Getting Equal Pay, What Can I Do?


If you believe you are not receiving “equal pay”, you may consider:

  • Talking to your boss (and bring a co-worker with you as a witness, to support you and establish that you’re engaging in protected, concerted activity). Please see section on Retaliation.
  • Talk to your coworkers
  • Talk to your Union rep
  • Consult with an attorney
  • Filing a claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office 
  • Filing a claim in court

How Do I File A Claim For Equal Pay


If you are an employee who has experiences an equal pay violation (you’ve been paid less than a co-worker of a different sex, race, or ethnicity for doing substantially similar work), you can file a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office or file an action in court against your employers to seek the difference in pay. In order to succeed on such a claim, you will need to show that your employer paid you less than it paid another employee of the opposite sex [or different race or ethnicity] for performing substantially similar work sometime in the past two years. You may be able to go back three years if you can show your employer’s violation of the law was “willful” (done with knowledge). Your employer will then have the chance to show that there is a legitimate reason for the pay difference that has nothing to do with sex.

Go to https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/dlseRetaliation.html for information about filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Remember that you may, but do not have to, file an administrative claim before filing an action court. (For more information see: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/California_Equal_Pay_Act.htm)

Am I Protected From Retaliation?


Yes. California’s equal pay laws protect against retaliation and there are other laws that may apply to you if you engage in these kinds of activities with your coworkers.

DISCLAIMER: The materials provided on this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice about any particular issue or problem. The materials do not represent the opinions or conclusions of individual members of the Task Force. The posting of these materials does not create requirements or mandates.