A bill approved by the California Senate Tuesday requires employers to pay employees of the opposite sex the same wages for "substantially similar work."
Democratic Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson authored the bill. She says that means a janitor and a housekeeper working for the same company would have to be paid the same. The bill also prohibits retaliation against employees who ask about their coworkers' pay.
Jackson says the wage gap between men and women has been a problem for decades.
"This is a bill about equal pay for equal jobs," she says. "It's an issue that I and many other gray-haired women, speaking for myself, have been fighting for for at least the last 35 years."
The measure now moves to the Assembly.
Another measure approved by the Assembly would prohibit an employer from asking a job applicant for a salary history. Supporters say it would also help close the wage gap. It now moves to the Senate.