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Workforce Management

Pay Equity and State-by-State Laws

When you’re managing payroll, it’s tough to keep 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.

Women in the United States make approximately 82 cents for every $1 a man earns according to the U.S Census Bureau. Many states have acted by writing more specific bills into law related to pay transparency, retaliation and annual pay data reporting to help enforce equal pay practices and eliminate discrimination.

How Many States Have Equal Pay Laws?

As of 2022, 42 states have enacted equal pay laws, acts or statutes; however, it’s important to note that all 49 states and the District of Columbia fall under The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of sex. In recent years, many state legislatures have pushed stronger laws into action. Some of the more sophisticated laws include specifications about pay transparency and wage history to ensure no employers try to cut corners when it comes to pay equity. To help give you a quick view of each state’s laws, we’ve provided a state-by-state chart below.

State-by-State Pay Equity Laws

State Law/Citation Covered Employees Provisions 
Alabama HB 225

Clarke Figures Equal Pay Act  
Private companies and Public employers Employers cannot legally pay an employee a lower wage rate than an employee of another race or sex for equal work in the same establishment, where job performance requires “equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility…under similar working conditions. If there is a wage differential it can only be based on seniority, a defined merit system or a factor other than sex or race as specified.
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 of someone of the opposite sex, or of another race, or of another ethnicity 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.

Companies with 100+ employers are also 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.

Part 2 promotes transparency by requiring employers to include compensation in job postings, notify employees of promotional opportunities, and keep job description and wage rate records.  
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 for comparable work. Employers can’t ask about an applicant’s pay history,unless it was voluntarily offered.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Employers must also provide job applicants with a wage range information when the applicant requests it or at the time an offer ins made.  
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 (Georgia Equal Pay Act)
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.

The act requires that employers display a copy of the law in the workplace.

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  Illinois Equal Pay Act 2021 Amendment
Private companies with 6+ employees

Private companies with 4+ employees

Private companies with 4+ employees

Public employers

Public employers  

Any private employer who has more than 100 employees
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.

Employers are required to file an Annual Employer Information Report EEO-1 with the EEOC, biannually report pay data, submit equal pay registration certificates and certify compliance.
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 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.)

Prohibits retaliation and 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 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

SB293
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.) 

Employers are prohibited from requesting the salary history of an applicant for employment. Employers are also required to provide wage ranges or salary rate for posted positions following an interview.
New Hampshire Discrimination in the Workplace: Equal Pay
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:37-41  
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.


Employees are allowed to disclose wages and cannot be discharged or disciplined because he or she discloses wages.  
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.)

Prohibits retaliation and 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).

Prohibits retaliation and 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 Wage 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
Rhode Island Pay Equity Act H 5261A, S 0270A Effective January 2023Private companies and public employers  Employers are prohibited from paying wages at a rate less than the rate it pays others based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age (40 or over), or country of ancestral origin (protected classes) for comparable work (skills, effort, responsibility, and similar working conditions).

Employers cannot request wage history from an applicant.

Employers must also provide the wage range of a position at the applicant’s request and also when an employee moves into a new position.

Employers are also required to post a notice with information about the Pay Equity Act in their workplaces.
South Carolina Human Affairs Law (SC Code Sec. 1-13-80)Private companies and public employers with more than 15 employeesEmployers 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). 
South Dakota Equal Pay Law SD Cod. Laws Sec. 60-12-15 et seqAll employersEmployers 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). 

Prohibits retaliation and provides employer liability for damages. 
Tennessee Equal Pay Act TN Code Sec. 50-2-202   Tennessee Human Rights Act (Fair Employment Practices Law) (TN Code Sec. 4-21-101 et seq.)Public and private employers with more than 8 employeesEmployers 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). 

Prohibits retaliation and provides employer liability for damages.     
Texas Texas Equal Pay Act (TX Govt. Code Sec. 659.001)  

Texas Human Rights Commission Act (TCHRA) (TX Labor Code Sec. 21.051 et seq.)
Public employees (State workers)  
Employers with more than 15 employees
Requires all women employed by the state of Texas must be paid the same as men performing the same kind, grade, and quantity of service and that no distinctions in compensation may be made based on sex.  

Employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, or age, in connection with compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.  
Utah Utah Antidiscrimination Act UT Code Sec. 34A-5-106 *not a specific pay equity law*Employers with more than 15 employeesEmployers are prohibited from compensation discrimination based on race, color, sex, pregnancy and childbirth, age (40 years and over), religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Vermont Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) (VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495et seq.)  

(VT Stat. Tit. 21 Sec. 495(7)(B))
Public and private employersEmployers are prohibited to pay employees of different sexes different wages for equal work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility.  

Additionally, it is illegal to require employees to refrain from disclosing or discussing wages. Employers are prohibited from making employment conditional on an applicant’s or employee’s agreement not to disclose or discuss his or her wages.
Virginia Virginia Equal Pay Act (VA Stat. Sec. 40.1-28.6 et seq.)Public and private employersEmployers are prohibited to pay employees of different sexes different wages for equal work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility.  
Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (RCW 49.58)Public and private employersEmployers are prohibited to pay employees of different sexes different wages for equal work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility.

Employers cannot prohibit employees from disclosing, comparing, or discussing their wages or the wages of other employees. Retaliation is prohibited.
West Virginia West Virginia Equal Pay Act WV Code Sec. 21-5B-1 et seq.Private employersEmployers are prohibited to pay employees of different sexes different wages for equal work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility.  
Wisconsin Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WI Stat. Sec. 111.31 et seq.) *not a specific pay equity law* This act prohibits compensation discrimination against individuals on the basis of age, race, creed, color, disability, marital status, sex, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, military service, or use or nonuse of lawful products off the employers’ premises during nonworking hours, or declining to attend a meeting or to participate in any communication about religious or political matters.  

Gender-based pay differentials are allowed in circumstances where gender is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). The Act states that gender constitutes a BFOQ only if all of the members of one gender are physically incapable of performing the essential duties of the job, or if the employer’s business operation would be undermined by hiring employees of both genders for the position in question
Wyoming Wyoming Equal Pay Law WY Stat. Sec. 27-4-301 et seq.Employers with two or more employeesEmployers are prohibited to pay employees of different sexes different wages for equal work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility.  

How Paycor Helps

We’re honored to help more than 29,000 customers stay compliant with federal and state equal pay regulations. Learn more about Paycor’s award-winning HCM platform here.

The information provided in our chart is for educational purposes only; it is not legal advice. Always check regulations to help ensure compliance.