High-volume employers in Los Angeles would be required to pay female employees as much as their male counterparts, should a proposal put forth Thursday by a city councilman come to fruition.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield said he was inspired by the efforts of California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is currently championing a federal effort along the same lines, to put forth his “Equal Pay LA” plan.
“After hearing about Senator Harris’ proposal to hold corporations accountable for the gender pay gap, I knew Los Angeles should lead the way by implementing her idea locally,” Blumenfield said. “We really need to have a paradigm shift where instead of a worker having to fight for what is right, we should hold corporations accountable for continuing this injustice. Though California has the lowest pay gap compared to other states, anything short of complete equality is unacceptable.”
Blumenfield’s motion is co-sponsored by City Council members Monica Rodriguez, Mitch O’Farrell and Nury Martinez.
“Since I’ve been in office, fighting for equal pay has been one of my top priorities,” Martinez said. ”It is ridiculous that in 2019 women across the United States are still getting paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.”
Harris’ proposal would fine companies 1% of their profits for every 1% wage gap. The money from those fines would be reinvested in local programs such as paid family leave or medical leave.
Blumenfield’s motion would direct city staff to look into similar provisions, including applying the law to businesses with 100 or more employees, and requiring businesses to verify their employees are paid equally and not differently based on gender.