On Thursday, California lawmakers approved the California Fair Pay Act (SB 358) and become the first state to pass such such an aggressive bill.
The bill, which gained support from both Republicans and Democrats, will prohibit employers from differentiating pay based on sex and will require employers to prove otherwise. It will also protect "women who discuss their pay or ask about the compensation of their male colleagues," according to the Huffington Post.
While the bill passed through the Senate back in May, assembly members unanimously passed the bill they say was "long overdue."
"Equal pay isn’t just the right thing for women, it’s the right thing for our economy and for California," Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Calif., the bill's author, said in a statement after its passage in the Senate.
The bill is said to close any "loopholes" that once existed by requiring that equal pay be granted for "substantially similar" work and not just "equal work," which allowed employers to "discriminate against female workers.
Not only are activists calling this a huge victory, many business groups support the bill.
Will other states follow in California's footsteps in passing a bill of their own?