Assemblymember Garcia Leading California’s Bid to End Workplace Pay Disparities in Public Sector

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO)- Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Vice-Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review and Vice Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls announces her commitment to holding hearings in early 2017 to end workplace pay disparities in California’s public sector.

A recent report by the California Department of Human Resources showed that women that work for the State of California, the 5th largest economy in the world, earn about 79.5 cents on the dollar compared to men resulting in a gender wage gap of 20.5%.  The disparity in pay is well above what employees in California’s private sectors and is nearly two times greater than 11.9% gender wage disparity found in the federal civil service.

“A glass ceiling exists in California just like it does in the rest of the country and it’s especially troubling that the gap is larger in our public sector than our private sector.  Government agencies and the Legislature should lead the way and serve as a model for our private sector,” said Assemblymember Cristina Garcia.

“California Legislative Women’s Caucus is working hard to address gender equity and as incoming Chair of the Women’s Caucus and Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review I plan to hold hearings on the issue at the beginning of the year.” said Assemblymember Cristina Garcia. “I stand with the women that work hard to prop up our economy, day in and day out. Changes need to be made in the private sector and the public sector- in our state agencies and in the State Capitol.”

The disparity in pay is even greater for women of color. In California, African American women earn 63 cents, Asian women earn 72 cents and Latinas make 44 cents to every Caucasian male’s dollar, respectively. As a group, full-time women workers in California lose over $33 billion dollars each year due to the wage gap. The California Legislative Women’s Caucus worked to ensure the passage of the SB 358, the California Fair Pay Act, last year.  This year, the Commission developed a special Taskforce to ensure education, awareness and implementation of SB 358 for employees and employers. Assemblymember Garcia looks to expand on this work after assuming the Chairmanship of the Legislative Women’s Caucus in the new session. 

The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.