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Pay transparency law

 February 6, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, February 6th.

A new California law requires employers to reveal pay ranges. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


President Joe Biden is giving his 20-23 State of the Union address tomorrow.

Ahead of his address, the president has renewed calls for political unity.

Some San Diegans plan to be in D-C for the address.

Representative Scott Peters is expected to have an Afghan refugee as his guest, to highlight issues Afghan asylum seekers have encountered.

Listen to the State of the Union at 6 p-m on 89-point-5 F-M, or livestream it on our website, K-P-B-S-DOT-ORG.


South County Assemblymember David Alvarez will be introducing legislation at the state capitol today.

The legislation would prevent cities and counties from adopting rules and regulations that ban lowrider cruising.

Lowrider groups in San Diego County have been trying to get National City to drop its ban for decades.

Alvarez’s office says the bill encourages cities to repeal their bans and recognize that cruising holds cultural significance for many communities, especially Mexican Americans.


You can now ride on Amtrak trains on the weekends.

Its weekend passenger service between San Diego and Orange counties resumed over the weekend.

The service was suspended back in September, to begin a track stabilization project at San Clemente.

The project is still underway, and is expected to be done by the end of March.

No date has been announced yet, for when weekday passenger service will resume.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


California enacted a law that requires employers to post the pay range of jobs they're seeking applicants for.

It’s part of a national movement toward pay transparency.

But does making salaries public, empower low wage workers, or does it just put privacy at risk?

KPBS Sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge has the story.

On a cool, sunny January noon-hour Gustavo Arcia (ARE-seeya) is having lunch with his son near the Prado Bridge. He used to manage a company that worked on government contracts. I asked him whether he thought that making people’s salaries public was an invasion of privacy. “I think it’s up to people. Whether they think it touches something very personal to them. For me, I don’t care,” Yes, public opinion on the subject is mixed. University of San Diego Law professor Orly Lobel says laws that keep salary information private go too far, and they run contrary to the public interest. LOBEL “We’ve also seen over the years privacy used not just as a shield but as a sword to hide from public accountability. Privacy oftentimes serves the more powerful. For example in scholarly papers I show that the gender and racial pay gaps have been very stagnant, basically because people don’t know they’re being underpaid.” Lobel, author of a book called The Equality Machine, adds that open information allows us to make better, and more equitable decisions in workplaces. Elizabeth Lyons is a professor of Management at UC San Diego. She has studied the effects of pay transparency on gender-based pay gaps..  gaps that she says are clearly a problem. “We may think it’s unfair. But beyond that it impacts women’s willingness to enter and stay in the labor market. So that has implications for the economy as a whole. We have fewer people working and that’s not great. It could impact women’s productivity if they know they’re earning less.” Lyons took a look at a situation where women did know they were earning less. A law in the Canadian province of Ontario required all organizations that received government funding to make public the name, position and salary of those making over $100,000. She told KPBS Midday Edition the law did create more pay equity in the Ontario universities she examined, raising female pay by about 4 percent. But not for the reasons they expected. They did not see individual women acting empowered and negotiating for higher pay. “Organizations are proactively reducing gender pay gaps in ways that are consistent with reputation management.” In other words, the organizations corrected the pay gaps because they were worried about their public image. Critics of pay transparency say it’s fraught with difficulty. Pam Dixon is a privacy advocate and founder of the World Privacy Forum. She says revealing the fact that someone is paid poorly may hurt them, not empower them. She says if you’re classified as poor, it’s harder to get good terms when you buy something. And when they apply for a job…. “Employers will look at their past pay and say ‘Oh. This is what you were paid in X work. We’re going to pay you along these incremental lines’ When that’s not what’s needed. What’s needed is pay equity.” Back in Balboa park, people I spoke with said when you enter the labor market you should know what the “going rate” of pay is. That gives you leverage in negotiations. Benjamin Arcia told me the price of labor should be regarded in the same way as prices of consumer goods. You need transparency to make comparisons. ARCIA 2 “So I think that just as technology has increased the transparency in real estate or in other realms. We’re just seeing communications technology take place in the labor market as well.” Felicia, who didn’t give her last name, said she’s seen workplaces where  knowing the salaries of your fellow workers has led to low morale and hard feelings. “The only people that have shared their salary with me is if they’ve left the company I was working with and they’re at a different company. How much money do you make? I don’t say! (laughterStudies estimate American women earn 84 cents for every dollar that a man makes. SOQ

A longtime San Diego news anchor is getting her day in court today…

She’s suing her former employer for gender and age discrimination.

KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado talked with Sandra Maas (Moss) about her case against the owners of K-U-S-I-T-V.

It’s been almost four years since Sandra Maas signed off the air … But Maas claims that was not her choice.. That she was fired. Now she’s suing her former employer, McKinnon Broadcasting, accusing them of violating California’s equal pay act and age discrimination law.  I could walk away silently and  bury my humiliation and shame over losing my job… take back my power and try to make a difference for other women in the workplace Maas would not discuss financial details, but court documents show she made $80 thousand a year less than her co anchor. Maas says she  never imagined her nearly 40 years in broadcasting would end like this It’s been really tough but I’m hoping …the new chapter will be a better ending for me. We reached out to KUSI. They did not return our calls for comment. Kitty Alvarado KPBS News. 


S-B-9 was touted as a breakthrough in California's efforts to boost its housing supply.

But, a new report says the law has spurred very little new construction after being in effect for a year.

Muhammad Ahlameldeen is a policy associate with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at U-C Berkeley.

He spoke with KPBS reporter Andrew Bowen about the report.

That was Muhammad Ahlameldeen with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, speaking with KPBS’s Andrew Bowen.


Scientists at UC-SD have designed a wearable heart monitor they say could take the place of a hospital cardiogram.

KPBS sci-tech reporter Thomas Fudge tells us about this new device, about the size of a postage stamp.

The small monitor adheres to the chest. There it uses ultrasound to create images of heart movement that are transferred to a laptop. Sheng Xu is a professor of engineering at UCSD. He says along with the images, artificial intelligence analyzes the heart function to determine if it’s  pumping enough blood.  “That’s the power of AI. If we don’t have the AI the data needs to be interpreted by professionals. With AI we can automatically process it. And give you only simple, actionable information.” It’s called the ultrasonic cardiac imager. Xu and a partner expect to commercialize it and market it to hospital ICUs and the general, health-conscious public. SOQ. 


Coming up.... The Comic-Con Museum has a new exhibit now on display. We’ll have that story and more, next, just after the break.


More University of California academic workers are saying they are the victims of retaliation… after their historic strike late last year.

KPBS Education reporter M.G. Perez has more from UC-SD.

At least 20 graduate student workers have filed grievances against professors at UCSD…claiming they are still being punished illegally for going on strike. Daniel PRE-mosh is one of the graduate researchers who were given unsatisfactory grades that could threaten their college careers. “...and that would prevent me from signing up for new courses…as well as being employed with a research group…so if it’s not resolved…it could end up kicking me out of the program.” Professors accused of the retaliation have denied they did anything wrong. Saying the striking workers did not fulfill their assignment obligations while on the picket lines. MGP KPBS News           


Electric bikes - or e-bikes as they’re known - are more popular than ever.

But the steep price tag has prevented lots of people from being able to afford them.

But a new incentive will soon try to change that.

KPBS reporter Claire Strong has more.

That’s Dan Sachs who owns Carlsbad based Happy Ebikes showing me some of the models he sells at his showroom in Encinitas. He’s one of the local businesses set to take part in a new statewide program, offering people who earn below the poverty line vouchers worth up to $2000 dollars to buy an e-bike from a California-based retailer. I chatted with Tracy Lothringer, as he pulled up on his e-bike for a game of pickleball with friends. He thinks making them available to everyone and reducing the number of cars on the road, is a great idea. “I think for the good of the entire city, the more people who’re able to ride bikes it's going to be a positive. Especially for coastal communities like Encinitas. It’s very congested, there’s a lot of cars, highly dense.” The Electric Bicycle Incentive Project - which is being run by the California Air Resources Board- is due to be rolled out this Spring. Claire Strong, KPBS News.


S-D-S-U officially launched its Center for Comics Studies last year.

One of its goals is to demonstrate the power of comics to foster diversity, and identify social injustice.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando says one way they are accomplishing this, is hosting talks on campus.

In the 1950s, New York-based publisher EC comics specialized in crime, horror and science fiction. But within those genres it also offered social commentary. Professor and Eisner Award-winning author Qiana Whitted explores this in her upcoming lecture, Captions and Corpses: How to Read an EC Comic. QIANA WHITTED I'm going to be talking about a chapter from the book on that company and how they used elements of the comics form, the actual text and the captions and the dialogue to relay more. I'm not going to say substantive messages, but because they were known for severed heads and aliens and all of that, but to relay, let's just say, some social and political messaging about racism and antisemitism. Subjects that are still relevant today. The free public talk takes place tomorrow on the SDSU campus. More information is available at Beth Accomando, KPBS News.


KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando also has details on the newest exhibit on display at the Comic-Con Museum.

It’s called The Animation Academy- from Pencils to Pixels.

She tells us what drew her into this latest exhibit.

The Animation Academy offers an education in animation through the years, from hand drawn cels to stop motion to computer generated images. It even pays tribute to legendary Disney voice actors like Bill Farmer. BILL FARMER This is a very interactive exhibit where you learn about the history of animation. Some pioneers in animation you may not know about. There's a lot of hands-on things where you can actually animate things and learn the process. And it's all that behind the scenes stuff that you may not know about that really is intriguing about this exhibit. Troy Carlson, CEO of Stage 9 Exhibits that designed the show, has been obsessed with animation since he was a kid making super 8 movies. He wanted the exhibit to pay tribute to the pioneers of animation. TROY CARLSON From the early years on up to the early computer animation and show the process of animation and show all the work that goes into it and kind of deconstruct the process of animation. He also wants to inspire people to create their own work. So there are interactive stations where you can create your own stop motion animation, lay out a storyboard or trace an animation cel. The exhibit provides something for both fans and aspiring artists. Beth Accomando KPBS News.

The exhibit will be on display through September 10th.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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California just enacted a law that requires employers to post the pay range of jobs they're seeking applicants for. In other news, more University of California academic workers are saying they are the victims of retaliation, after their historic strike late last year. Plus, the Comic-Con Museum has a new exhibit on display.