How Does The Fair Pay Act Apply to Unions

  • The Fair Pay Act covers employees in all industries in California;
  • There is no exception under the Fair Pay Act for employees covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements, and there is no minimum number of employees needed for this law to apply.
  • Unions and employers can, however, negotiate bona fide merit or seniority based systems that can be the basis for wage differentials under the law.
  • In light of the recent amendments to California law, unions may wish to review provisions in the collective bargaining agreement that relate to employee compensation – such as hiring and selection criteria, job classifications and definitions, pay scales, promotion and pay raise provisions, etc. – to ensure that these provisions comply with the law.
  • Unions and their members may wish to evaluate historical inequities in pay (e.g. between substantially similar female- and male-dominated positions) to determine potential compliance issues, especially when negotiating an initial contract.
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