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California Protects Pay By Gender, Is Race Next?

  

(AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker is seeking to expand California's toughest-in-the-nation equal pay law to protect workers from racial discrimination.

The proposal by Sen. Isadore Hall of Compton would build on the law requiring fair pay regardless of gender, which California businesses began implementing in January.

The current law allows workers to openly discuss their compensation, and requires employers to justify any pay discrepancies between men and women who do "substantially similar" work.

Hall's proposal would augment that to also allow employees to inquire about — and make businesses explain or correct — any pay gaps between people of different races or ethnicities.

Still, some leading voices on pay inequality are hesitant to push too much too soon. They worry that politically influential businesses may doom Hall's proposal.