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DFEH Summary of Pay Data Reporting Shows Continued Pay Inequities in California

EverythingHR Staff | 05/07/2022 | Blog

For obvious reasons, much attention has been focused over the past year on compensation strategies that take into account the adjustments needed to at least make an effort to stay in line with inflation.  Competitive wages that align with market are essential to effective recruiting and retention strategies.

Perhaps somewhat obscured by this priority has been the dual imperative to ensure pay equity which, in California, is codified by the California Fair Pay Act, which requires equal pay for employees regardless of sex, race, or ethnicity. who perform “substantially similar work.”

California employers saw a stark reminder of the continuing struggle to remedy this in mid-March when the DFEH released the Pay and Demographics of California Workers: Results from Pay Data Reports from Large Employers, summarizing the data for 2020.  Commenting on the data reported, DFEH Director Kevin Kish pointed out that “Today’s report reinforces the need for employers to review their compensation and other employment practices to correct pay disparities and ensure equal opportunity in their workplaces.”

The 2020 data reported to the DFEH in 2021 covered 6.3 million employees in approximately 14,000 California establishments.  The data was collected from private employers with 100 or more employees on the pay, hours worked, job category, race/ethnicity, and sex of their California employees.

Highlights of the findings include:

  • The representation of women decreased consistently as the pay range increased. Specifically, the ratio of women to men was 55% to 45% at a pay rate below $30,679; 49% to 51% at a pay rate from $30,680 – $62,919; 44% to 56% at a pay rate from $62,920 – $128,959; and, 36% to 64% at a pay rate of at least $128,960.
  • The representation of Whites increased as the (above) pay ranges increased from 25% to 27% to 41% to 51%, while the representation of Hispanics or Latinos decreased from 50% to 47% to 27% to 9%, and the representation of Black or African Americans decreased from 8% to 7% to 6% to 3%.
  • The workforce represented in the data was 52% male and 48% female, 37% Hispanic or Latino, 34% White, 18% Asian and 6% Black or African American.

Much more insight can be found in the full report which can be accessed here:  https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/paydatareporting/results/