Supervisor pursues policy change to address concerns about pay disparities


Last updated 4/7/2018 at 11:45am

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors directed the county Department of Human Resources to begin the process of revising policies and recruitment literature to clearly reflect that the county affirms “fairness and equity” in salary formulas.

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez requested the action based on concerns that a lack of specific language referencing pay equity could expose the county to accusations of permitting disparities in wages and benefits based on gender.

“As one of the largest employers in the region, the county continues to lead by example and set high standards for fairness and equity in our compensation process,” Perez said in his proposal, which was posted to the board’s policy agenda. “Adding the requested language of equal pay for equal work sends a strong message to our labor force that the board and the county leadership team values the contribution and commitment of its entire workforce of dedicated men and women, equally.”

The supervisor pointed out that the California Equal Pay Act, enshrined in the state Labor Code, prohibits employers from arbitrarily adjusting employees’ wage rates based solely on gender.

Employers caught violating pay equity rules can also face federal penalties under the U.S. Equal Pay Act of 1963, which bars “compensation discrimination” connected not only with gender, but also race, religion, age and national origin.

Under Perez’s proposal, the county Department of Human Resources will have four months to make revisions to policies, memoranda and recruitment materials reflecting the “equal pay for equal work” doctrine.

The issue will be revisited at that time, when the board will have an opportunity review the changes and vote on whether to accept them.


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