SACRAMENTO (AP) — California lawmakers are advancing what proponents call the nation’s strongest law designed to make sure that women are paid equally for the work they perform.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democrat from Santa Barbara, says her bill goes beyond federal discrimination law.

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Employers would have to demonstrate that any wage differences between male and female employees are based on reasonable job-related considerations and not merely on gender.

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It would allow workers to allege pay discrimination based on wages the company pays to other employees at different locations. Employees could also base challenges on wages the company pays to other employees who do substantially similar work. It would also bar retaliation against employees who discuss pay at work.

The Senate approved SB358 Monday on a 38-0 vote, sending it to the Assembly.

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