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California employers will soon be subject to a new equal pay law that will create a much stricter standard for gender pay equity. Passed by the state legislature with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 6, 2015, this new law is considered the most aggressive equal pay law in the nation. California employers will want to begin preparing immediately for its impact.

Recently, Illinois joined a growing number of states prohibiting employers from asking about applicants’ criminal histories early in the hiring process.

President Obama recently signed two executive orders changing the landscape of equal pay protections applicable to federal contractors. The first executive order prohibits federal contractors from firing, demoting or retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. The second order directs the Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, to establish and implement new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit compensation data that, in part, is broken down by sex and race. According to the White House, the data will be used to encourage voluntary compliance with already existing equal pay laws and assist with more targeted enforcement initiatives.

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