Bill Aims At Prohibiting Public Pension Fund Investments In Alternative Investment Vehicles Lacking Race And Gender Pay Equity Policies

Last year, Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher authored a bill, AB 1209, that would have required employers with 500 or more employees in California to provide to the Secretary of State specific information regarding gender wage differentials for exempt employees and board members.  After Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the bill, Assembly Member Gonzalez Fletcher stated "We are far from done and we will be bringing legislation next year to further address the gender pay gap."  She followed up in February by introducing AB 2571.

The bill's syntax is convoluted and the Legislative Counsel's digest is no better (and perhaps worse).  As I read it, AB 2571 would prohibit a California public pension from making a new, additional, or renewed investment in an alternative investment vehicle if it is managed by an investment manager that has not adopted and committed to comply with a race and gender pay equity policy.  The policy must, at a minimum, "identify and eliminate racial or gender pay differentials that are not explained by bona fide nondiscriminatory factors".  The policy must also provide for a certified public report annually on pay equity.

So how does this bill affect hotels, motels, restaurants, bars, and resorts?

This brings me to a discussion of hospitality employers.  The bill would also require the investment manager to cause any subsidiary entity of the alternative investment vehicle that is a hospitality employer, and any hospitality employer with which any subsidiary entity contracts to operate a facility owned by the subsidiary entity, to: (i) identify and eliminate racial or gender pay differentials that are not explained by bona fide nondiscriminatory factors; and (ii) submit a certified report to the investment manager containing the pay equity report.  The bill defines a "hospitality employer" as "any individual or entity that acts as an employer in the hospitality sector, including operators of hotels, motels, and resorts as well as operators of restaurants and bars located on the premises of hotels, motels, and resorts and does not mean an investment firm."

Tags: CalPERS, Calstrs