SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Female workers in California are getting new tools to challenge gender-based wage gaps under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Democrat announced Tuesday he has signed legislation that supporters say enacts the strongest equal-pay protection in the nation.

The legislation by Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara lets female employees allege pay discrimination based on the wages a company pays to other employees who do substantially similar work.

The legislation also puts the burden on employers to prove a man’s higher pay is based on factors other than gender. And it protects workers from discrimination and retaliation if they ask questions about how much other people earn.

Brown also is considering legislation that bars employers from using previous salary information as justification for paying women less than their male co-workers.