L.A. Council Votes to Require Equal Prize Money for Men, Women

Church And State Separation Examined

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council voted today to require event organizers to pay men and women equally in competitions that award prize money.

The ordinance requires any entity or person who is approved for a special event permit to equalize prize money for all gender categories engaged in a competition.

“If we look at how women are punished in the business world when it comes to the pay gap between men and women doing the same work, it is absolutely not surprising that gender-pay disparity is also alive and well in sports, including sports where women's events, like soccer and tennis, are huge money-making ventures for those who profit off their labor,” Council President Nury Martinez said.

“The city of Los Angeles should lead on bringing women out of the dark ages of pay disparity, and that's what this legislation is designed to do.”

The council had no discussion on the matter Wednesday before taking the final action to send the proposed law to Mayor Eric Garcetti for him to consider signing.

Although special permit holders are now required to provide equal pay, that won't prohibit events involving major sports leagues like the NBA and WNBA, whose teams have a lease to use arenas and stadiums in Los Angeles.

It was not immediately clear which events the proposed ordinance would effect.

The Los Angeles Marathon, which requires a special events permit, pays equal prize money to men and women. It is among the rare events in Los Angeles requiring a special events permit both men and women compete in and awards prize money.

City officials said last fall, when the proposal was being considered by council committees, that many events that offer prize money look to host events for multiple years in Los Angeles and have a stake in being a good partner with the city.

If the proposal is signed by Garcetti, Los Angeles can almost immediately require event organizers to pay men and women equally through the permit process, and city officials said they could look into providing earlier notice of the equal pay requirement prior to events so organizers are not caught off guard by the new law.

Photo: Getty Images

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