So I've read about the Fair Pay Act, which is unclear if it also covers people of the same sex. I know it is not legal for the company to prohibit salary discussion between employees.

I am currently in a situation where someone of my current title (Software Developer) is making significantly more than me due to some nice negotiation skills. Right now I am in negotiations for my Senior position, however the first offer was an extreme low-ball as it would have me making less than the non-senior developer still. Does California have any legal coverage for such a situation?

Edit: Responses I got made me think the situation is unclear.

I am about to be promoted from Software Dev 2 to a Senior Dev 1. The other person is Software Dev 2, yet with the extra responsibilities and skill, they are offering me less than some one of a lesser title.

1 Answer 1


The core requirement of the California Fair Pay Act (2015) is that it requires equal pay for employees who perform "substantially similar work," when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility.

If both employees are Software Developers at the same firm, the effort and responsibility might be similar, but the senior developer is almost surely considered to have more skill than the junior developer, so it is probably not a violation of the Fair Pay Act to pay more to the senior developer than to the junior developer.

  • 1
    The OP says that he is getting paid less than other employer in the same position and that even with a promotion to Senior Developer he would still get paid less.
    – SJuan76
    Jun 1, 2018 at 16:36
  • @SJuan76 If there were a significant difference of skill even in the same job title, the act would still seem to allow it.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 1, 2018 at 16:38
  • @SJuan76 is Correct. I am speaking for a Senior title being paid less than a non-senior title.A senior title assumes more responsibility, yet they are trying to offer less than they are paying the non-senior.. E.g. Software Dev 2 would be making more than Senior Software Dev 1
    – Luke G
    Jun 1, 2018 at 17:16
  • @LukeG Ah. Misunderstood the question.
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 1, 2018 at 17:17
  • 2
    Responsibility doesn't necessarily mean skill, and it doesn't mean achievement.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 1, 2018 at 18:24

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