CA Governor signs bill to give equal pay to men, women for equal work

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law Tuesday at the Rosie the Riveter Museum in Richmond to give women and men equal pay for equal work.

There was an applause Tuesday after Brown's signing and supporters say it is the strongest equal-pay law in the nation. Brown said while it's a huge victory, it's just another step in a very long process.

It's a measure 66 years in the making, since 1949, the last time California passed a law that required women to receive equal pay for equal work.

The California Fair Pay Act now requires equal pay, regardless of gender, for substantially similar work at different establishments. It also prohibits retaliation against employees.

"This is really a big day, important. The inequities that have plagued our state and have burdened women forever are slowly being resolved," Brown said.

Though not yet out of middle school, young girls at Tuesday's historic signing also appreciate the new law.

"I guess I never really knew about it before this was brought to my attention and I realize that women really should be paid the same," said student Brooke Brandenberger.

"I think it's very amazing this is going to change the world for us," said student Liza Mikacich

Mary Torres knows well the long fight for women to get the same pay as men. She is one of the surviving Rosie the Riveters from World War II.

"You know we brought this to life in the 40s and you know it took 70 years for him to come and sign that bill," said Marry Torres.

The California Chamber of Commerce initially opposed SB 358 at the state capitol out of concerns it might increase litigation. A spokesperson told ABC7 News those fears were eliminated through negotiation.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.