Nicole Rice

Gender pay data bill dies in fiscal committee, but other data collection bill moves forward

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Aug. 17, 2018 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend


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The Assembly Appropriations Committee held the gender pay data disclosure bill SB 1284 (Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) in committee last week. Although the author recently amended the bill to address many of the confidentiality concerns that could have led to unfair public shaming and litigation resulting from likely meritless claims, the measure still contained provisions that would have imposed burdensome reporting and enforcement requirements on manufacturers. Last year’s attempt at a similar bill – AB 1209 (Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego) – made it through the Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Brown.

Another measure that collects employment data to determine diversity within the high technology workforce is still moving through the Legislature. AB 2819 by Assembly Member Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) requires the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles to conduct a biennial study on the demographic makeup of the high technology companies’ Board of Directors and specified employees between 2021 and 2031 that will be publicly posted on the Center’s website. In addition, it includes intent language that urges every publicly-held high technology corporation in California to designate a number of Board of Director seats to individuals from underrepresented populations.

While well-intentioned, CMTA opposes this bill because it establishes a precedent for mandating hiring quotas that are unconstitutional and violate federal law. Further, the bill also creates a situation for public criticism and litigation by posting data without context in the public domain. AB 2819 is currently on the Senate Floor awaiting a vote.

 

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