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Pay Equity and State-by-State Laws

When you’re managing payroll, it’s tough keeping track of—and maintain compliance with—federal, state and local law. This is certainly the case for pay equity laws, which differ between states, and even between cities and counties. The good news is, we’ve created this handy chart to help you get a quick view of each state’s laws.

2020 was a busy year (maybe the busiest in living memory for HR leaders) but several states—namely California, Colorado and Maryland—found time to update their pay equity legislation. This new information has been added to the below chart, and we’ll be sure to add any additional laws that arise in 2021.

State-by-State Pay Equity Laws

State  Law/Citation  Covered Employes  Provisions 
Alabama  None

 

None  None 
Alaska  Employment Discrimination Act

Alaska Stat. Ann. § 18.80.220(a)(5).

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for work of comparable character or work of the same type in the same location. 
Arizona  Equal Wages

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23-340, 341

 

Private companies and Public employers  Requires employers to pay wage rates equal to the rates paid to the opposite sex. Employees must work in the same establishment and have the same work classification. They must also have the same skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions.

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

Arkansas  Wage Discrimination

Ark. Code Ann. § 11-4-601, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers.  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for work of comparable character or work of the same type in the same location.

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

California  Equal Pay Act

Cal. Labor Code § 1197.5

 

Private companies and Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.) Retaliation against an employee who files a complaint is illegal. It’s also illegal for an employer to prohibit employees from talking about their or their co-workers’ wages.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Employers are prohibited from asking for an applicants’ salary history and are required to supply pay scales upon an applicant’s request.

San Francisco has a city ordinance that further prohibits employers from disclosing a current or former employee’s salary information without their consent.

From 2021, companies with 100+ employers will be required to report pay data by gender (and race). 

Colorado  Equal Pay For Equal Work Act

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-5-102, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers are prohibited from paying an employee of a different sex less for “substantially similar” work.

It is forbidden to ask about or rely on an applicant’s salary history, to restrict employees from discussing their salary, or to retaliate against an employee for failing to disclose their salary history.

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

Connecticut  Discrimination in compensation on the basis of sex

Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. §31-75, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based solely on the sex of the employee. Employers can’t ask about an applicant’s pay history, unless it was voluntarily offered.

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

Delaware  Differential rate of pay based on gender prohibited

19 Del. Code Ann. § 1107(a), 1113

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.) Employers are prohibited from screening an applicant based on past compensation and can’t ask about salary history. They can confirm salary after an offer has been extended.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

 

District of Columbia  No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402, et. seq.

 

  Washington D.C. doesn’t have a specific equal pay law. They have a blanket employment discrimination law that prohibits wage discrimination based on protected class status. 
Florida  Wage discrimination based on sex prohibited

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 448.07

 

Private companies with 2+ employees  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

 

Georgia  Sex Discrimination in Employment

Ga. Code Ann. § 34-5-3, et. seq.

 

Private companies with 10+ employees

Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

City agencies in Atlanta can’t ask for salary history on employment applications, in interviews or in employment screenings.

 

Hawaii  Equal pay; sex discrimination

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-2.3, -5

Wage discrimination prohibited

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 387-4

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Employers can’t ask about an applicant’s pay history, unless it was voluntarily offered.

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between people of different race, religion or sex.

 

Idaho  Discriminatory Wage Rates Based on Sex

Idaho Code § 44-1701, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

 

Illinois  Equal Wage Act

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 110/1, et. seq.

Equal Pay Act of 2003

820 Ill. Comp. Stat.

112/1, et. seq.

Wages of Women and Minors Act

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 125/0.01, et. seq.

Ill. Executive Order 2019-02

Executive Order No. 2018-1

Reaffirmation of commitment to gender pay equality

 

Private companies with 6+ employees

Private companies with 4+ employees

Private companies with 4+ employees

Public employers

Public employers

 

Creates penalty for wage discrimination.

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

Prohibits employing women and minors at an oppressive wage.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

State offices can’t ask for salary history on employment applications, in interviews or in employment screenings.

City of Chicago departments may not ask for applicants’ salary histories.

 

Indiana  Minimum Wags: Rates; Discrimination

Ind. Code Ann. §22-2-2-4(d), et. seq.

 

Private companies with 2+ employees  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages. 

Iowa  Compensation based on comparable worth

Iowa Code Ann. § 70A.18

Wage discrimination in employment

Iowa Code Ann. § 216.6A 

Private companies and Public employers  Policy of wage non-discrimination between the sexes.

Employers can’t pay lower wages to any employee who is employed within the same establishment for equal work because of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

 

Kansas  Discrimination in payment of wages

Kan. Stat. Ann. 44-1205, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers  EEmployers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides employer liability for damages. 

Kentucky  Wage Discrimination Because of Sex

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 337.420, et. seq.

Ordinance No. 066, Series 2018

 

Private companies with 2+ employees

Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides employer liability for damages.

Louisville/Jefferson County Metro agencies are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s salary history.

 

Louisiana  Louisiana Equal Pay for Women Act

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23:661, et. seq.

Employment discrimination law

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23:301, et. seq.

 

Public employers  Prohibits wage discrimination based on sex in state employment.

Provides for employer liability for damages.

Louisiana has an anti-discrimination law that includes prohibition of wage discrimination based on sex.

New Orleans city agencies are prohibited from asking about an applicant’s salary history.

 

Maine  Equal Pay

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 26 § 628

Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §4577

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages between sexes or employ a woman at pay rate less than what a man gets for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Employers can’t ask about a prospective employee’s pay history until after a job offer has been negotiated.

 

Maryland  Equal Pay for Equal Work

Md. Labor and Employment Code Ann. § 3-301, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

They’re also prohibited from providing less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gender identity.

Employers are prohibited from requesting or making a decision based on an applicant’s salary history.

Employers are required—upon request— to provide employees with the wage range for the job applied for.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

 

Massachusetts  Equal Pay Act

Ann. Laws of Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 105A

 

Private companies and Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.) Retaliation against an employee who files a complaint is illegal. It’s also illegal for an employer to prohibit employees from talking about their or their co-workers’ wages. Employers are prohibited from asking for an applicants’ salary history.

Provides for employer liability for damages.

 

Michigan  Unfair Discrimination, Restraint of Trade and Trusts Law

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 750.556

Workforce Opportunity Wage Act

Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 408.423

 

Private companies and Public employers

Private companies with 2+ employees

 

Any employer that discriminates in the payment of wages between similarly employed men and women can be found guilty of a misdemeanor.

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Employers are prohibited from asking for an applicants’ salary history.

 

Minnesota  Equal Pay for Equal Work

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 181.66, et. seq.

 

Private companies  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

 

Mississippi  None  None  None 
Missouri  Female Employees

Mo. Ann. Stat. § 290.410, et. seq.

Resolution 180519

 

Private companies and Public employers

Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides for employer liability for damages.

Kansas City offices can’t ask applicants for pay history until they have been hired.

 

Montana  Equal pay for women for equivalent service

Mont. Code Ann. 39-3-104

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.) 
Nebraska  Sex Discrimination

Neb. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 48-1221, et. seq.

 

Private companies with 15+ employees

Public Employers 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.) 
Nevada  Discrimination on basis of sex prohibited

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.017

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.) 
New Hampshire  Discrimination in the Workplace: Equal Pay

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:37

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers or potential employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

New Jersey  Discrimination in Wages

N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:11-56.1, et. seq.

Executive Order 1, 2018 

Private companies and Public employers

Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

New Jersey agencies and offices can’t ask applicants for salary history or investigate the previous salary of an applicant.

 

New Mexico  Fair Pay for Women

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-23-1, et. seq.

 

Private companies with 4+ employees  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

New York  Differential in rate of pay because of sex prohibited

N.Y. Labor Law §194, 198

Executive Order 161

Local Law 2017/067

Local Law No. P for 2016

Local Law No. 25 -2018

Local Law No. 10624-2018

 

Private companies

Public employers

Private companies

Private companies

Private companies

Private companies

 

Private employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions.)

Provides employer liability for damages.

State agencies and departments (except the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) can’t ask applicants for salary history until after a job offer is extended. If an applicant’s previous salary is already known, that information can’t be used to determine applicant’s salary, unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement.

Employers in New York City can’t ask applicants for salary history until after a job offer is extended. If an applicant’s previous salary is already known, that information can’t be used to determine applicant’s salary.

Employers in Albany County can’t ask applicants for salary history until after a job offer is extended.

Employers in Suffolk County can’t ask applicants for salary history or investigate the previous salary of an applicant.

Employers in Westchester County can’t ask applicants for salary history. They’re only allowed under certain circumstances to confirm prior pay and rely on that information in setting salaries. 

North Carolina  No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-422.1

Executive Order No. 93

 

Private companies

Public Employers 

North Carolina has a general employment discrimination law.

State agencies can’t ask applicants for salary history. If an applicant’s previous salary is already known, that information can’t be used to determine applicant’s salary. 

North Dakota  Equal Pay for Men and Women

N.D. Century Code, 34-06.1-01, et. seq.

 

Private companies and Public employers  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions).

Provides for cause of action to sue for damages. 

Ohio  Wage discrimination

Ohio Rev. Code § 4111.17

 

Private companies and Public employers

Private companies with 15+ employees and Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or ancestry for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions).

Provides employer liability for damages.

Effective March 2020 (est.), employers located within the city of Cincinnati, excluding state and local governments (with the exception of the City of Cincinnati) are prohibited from asking for an applicants’ salary history and are required to supply pay scales upon an applicant’s request.

 

Oklahoma  Discriminatory Wages

40 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 198.1, et. seq.

 

Private companies  Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions). 
Oregon  Discriminatory wage rates based on sex

Or. Rev. Stat. § 652.220, et. seq.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 652.220, et. seq

 

Private companies and Public employers

Private companies and Public employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions).

Provides right of action to sue for damages.

Employers can’t ask applicants for salary history or use previous salary of an applicant to set pay.

 

Pennsylvania  Equal Pay Law

Pa. Stat. Ann. tit. 43 § 336.1, et. seq.

Executive Order: 2018-18-03

Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances, Title One: Administrative, Article XI: Personnel, Chapter 181: General Provisions, Section 181.13

Philadelphia Pay Equity Ordinance

The Philadelphia Code § 9-1131 

Private companies and Public employers

Public employers

Public employers

All employers

 

Employers can’t discriminate in the payment of wages based on sex or gender identity for substantially similar work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions).

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

State agencies can’t ask applicants for salary history. All job postings must clearly disclose pay scale.

Departments of the City of Pittsburgh can’t ask applicants for salary history. If an applicant’s previous salary is already known, that inf