DFEH Pay Equity Data Reveals Women and Certain Racial/Ethnic Groups Overrepresented In Low Wage Sector in California

By Jennifer Ambacher posted 03-28-2022 02:53 PM


On March 15, 2022, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released its initial results of the pay equity data for 2020. DFEH began collecting pay equity data last year for the tax year 2020 per Senate Bill 973. The data was collected on 6.3 million employees of private companies employing 100 or more workers. The data does not account for public employers or those employers with fewer than 100 employees. The data also does not include individuals reporting as gender non-binary, as DFEH is conducting additional confidentiality checks and will release this information later.

The data reveal that women, Hispanic/Latino, and Black/African American workers were overrepresented in the lowest pay bracket (earning $30,679 or less in 2020). White and Asian workers and males were overrepresented in the highest pay band ($128,960 or more in 2020). The DFEH has made this data available on a public website that offers options to view and aggregate the data in various ways, including statewide, industry, and metropolitan area.  

DFEH Director Kevin Kish stated that this data “reinforces the need for employers to review their compensation and other employment practices to correct pay disparities and ensure equal opportunity in their workplaces.”  As articulated by the Department of Industrial Relations, the Equal Pay Act “prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees wage rates that are less than what it pays employees of the opposite sex, or of another race, or of another ethnicity for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.”

Certain employers must submit their 2021 pay data reports to the DFEH by April 1, 2022. More information on this requirement can be found on the DFEH website. Employers who have questions about their pay reporting obligations can contact the California Legal Services team at