AAUW Policy Guide to Equal Pay in the States

The gender pay gap exists in almost every congressional district according to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Passing a federal law, like the Paycheck Fairness Act or the Fair Pay Act, would help protect everyone in all states. But until that happens, each state will continue operating under antiquated regulations and piecemeal state and local laws to combat unequal pay.

How do your state and district’s equal pay protections stack up? Below you’ll find an analysis of the protections in each state. Some states have more laws, some less, and two states — Alabama and Mississippi — have no equal pay laws at all. But regardless of a state’s legal framework, it is a daunting task for women to secure their basic legal right to fair pay. No matter where your state falls along the spectrum of equal pay laws, the bottom line is this: All 50 states can make improvements so that fair pay is an accessible reality for everyone.

Download the facts for your state by clicking on your state’s name in the left-hand column of the chart below (or here for Puerto Rico). In addition to information about your state’s existing laws, these resources provide your state pay gap number, congressional district pay gap numbers, rankings of the state’s congressional districts from narrowest to widest gap, and a road map to pay equity that includes needed state and federal actions. Then bring the facts to your community and elected representatives to push for stronger equal pay protections.

Equal Pay Laws by State

Download in PDF

Includes equal pay or employment
discrimination provision
Covers all or most employees
Includes protected classes in addition to sex
Prohibits retaliation/discrimination for
taking legal action to secure equal pay
Prohibits retaliation/discrimination for
discussing/disclosing wages
Prohibits using salary history in hiring
Makes salary range available
Prohibits job tracking based on sex
Prohibits reducing another employee’s pay
to comply with law
Includes comparable work/substantially
similar standard
Includes mechanism to guide and
enforce pay adjustments
Narrows reasons employers can use to
justify pay differences
Requires consideration of
less discriminatory practices
Prohibits agreement to a lesser wage
as a defense
Requires liable employer to pay
employee’s damages
Requires liable employer to pay additional
penalties for multiple violations
Requires liable employer to pay employee’s
costs and attorney’s fees
Permits class action lawsuits or joined claims
Explicitly resets statute of limitations
if continuing violation
Includes private right of action
Requires employers to keep records of wages
Requires employers to collect data on pay gap
Creates state advisory committee on pay equity
Sponsors state education and training
programs, such as salary negotiation
Protections Occupational
Segregation
Defenses/
Rebuttals
Remedies Procedures Preventative Meatures
49 37 19 42 18 8 1 2 25 22 2 9 4 25 41 6 36 29 8 47 15 2 25 3
AL
AK D
AZ
AR D
CA
CO
CT
DE Pu
DC Pu
FL F
GA Pr,
D,S
HI
ID
IL
IN D,F
IA
KS D,F
KY F
LA Pr
ME
MD
MA D
MI
MN
MS
MO
MT
NE
NV
NH D
NJ D
NM
NY Pu
NC Pr,S
ND
OH
OK
OR
PA F
RI D
SC S
SD
TN F
TX Pr,S
UT S
VT
VA F
WA
WV F
WI
WY

Coverage excludes: domestic or agricultural workers (D), private employers (Pr), public employers (Pu), employers with < 4 workers (S), employers covered by federal FLSA law (F)

Law enacted State with strong equal pay protections State with weak equal pay protections
No law enacted State with moderate equal pay protections State with no equal pay protections

 

Take Action

  • Download your state road map by clicking on your state’s abbreviated name in the chart above. (We have one for Puerto Rico, too!)
  • Use your state policy guide as a springboard to write a letter to the editor or an op-ed calling for your elected officials to take action on the pay gap.
  • Become an AAUW Two-Minute Activist and tell your elected officials to support the ongoing fight for fair pay.

For more information, contact AAUW State Policy Counsel Kate Nielson or Media Relations.

 


Related

The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap

Learn about the pay gap in the United States, how it affects all women, and what you can do to close it.

The Gender Pay Gap by State: An Interactive Map

How does your state’s gender pay gap stack up? Get a personalized press release and graphic for your state.

AAUW staff and interns rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC for equal pay on Equal Pay Day (2017).

States Notch Equal Pay Victories in 2017

Voters are fed up with the persistent gender pay gap, and many state legislators are listening.