State Equal Pay Laws

8/23/2016

To address the gender pay gap and ensure pay equity in the workplace, states have implemented laws that seek to eliminate pay differentials on the basis of sex. In some cases, these measures include other protected categories as well.

State Equal Pay Laws

State

Law Name and Citation

Size of Employers Covered

Provisions

Alabama

None

 

None

Alaska

Employment Discrimination Act

Alaska Stat. Ann. § 18.80.220(a)(5)

All

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate in the payment of wages as between the sexes, or to employ a female in an occupation in this state at a salary or wage rate less than that paid to a male employee for work of comparable character or work in the same operation, business, or type of work in the same locality.

Arizona

Equal Wages

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23-340, 341

All

No employer shall pay any person in his employ at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex in the same establishment for the same quantity and quality of the same classification of work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Arkansas

Wage Discrimination

Ark. Code Ann. § 11-4-601, et. seq.

All

No employer shall discriminate in the payment of wages as between the sexes or shall pay any female in his or her employ salary or wage rates less than the rates paid to male employees for comparable work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

California

Equal Pay Act

Cal. Labor Code § 1197.5

All

No employer shall pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Colorado

Wage Equality Regardless of Sex

Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-5-101, et. seq.

All

No employer shall make any discrimination in the amount or rate of wages or salary paid or to be paid his employees in any employment in this state solely on account of the sex thereof.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Connecticut

Discrimination in compensation on the basis of sex

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

All

No employer shall discriminate in the amount of compensation paid to any employee on the basis of sex. Any difference in pay based on sex shall be deemed a discrimination. 

Provides employer liability for damages.

Delaware

Differential rate of pay based on gender prohibited

19 Del. Code Ann. § 1107(a), 1113

All

No employees shall be paid a wage at a rate less than the rate at which an employee of the opposite sex in the same establishment is paid for equal work on a job the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

D.C.

No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402, et. seq.

 

Washington D.C. has a general employment discrimination law prohibiting wage discrimination based on protected class status.

Florida

Wage discrimination based on sex prohibited

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 448.07

Employers with 2 or more employees

No employer shall discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which he or she pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under 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.

Employers with 10 or more employees

No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this chapter shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work in jobs which require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Hawaii

Equal pay; sex discrimination

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-2.3, -5

 

 

 

 

 

Wage discrimination prohibited

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 387-4

All

No employer shall discriminate between employees because of sex, by paying wages to employees in an establishment at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in the establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

No employer shall discriminate in any way in the payment of wages as between persons of different races or religions or as between the sexes.

Idaho

Discriminatory Wage Rates Based on Sex

Idaho Code § 44-1701, et. seq.

All

No employer shall discriminate between or among employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex, by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in this state at a rate less than the rate at which he pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs which have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility.

Provides 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.

Employers with 6 or more employees

Employers with 4 or more employees

 

 

 

Creates penalty for wage discrimination.

 

 

 

No employer may discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to an employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee of the opposite sex for the same or substantially similar work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

Prohibits the employment of women and minors at an oppressive or unreasonable wage rate.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Indiana

Minimum Wags: Rates; Discrimination

Ind. Code Ann. §22-2-2-4(d), et. seq.

Employers with 2 or more employees

No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying to employees in such establishment a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under 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

All

Adopts a state policy of wage non-discrimination between the sexes.

 

It shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice for any employer or agent of any employer to discriminate against any employee because of the age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability of such employee by paying wages to such employee at a rate less than the rate paid to other employees who are employed within the same establishment for equal work on jobs.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

Kansas

Discrimination in payment of wages

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

All

No employer having employees of both sexes shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate of wages paid to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Kentucky

Wage Discrimination Because of Sex

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 337.420, et. seq.

Employers with 2 or more employees

No employer shall discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex, by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in this state at a rate less than the rate at which he or she pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs which have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility.

Provides employer liability for damages.

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.

State employers

Prohibits wage discrimination based on sex in state employment.

Provides for employer liability for damages.

 

Louisiana also has a general employment discrimination law that includes a prohibition of wage discrimination based on sex.

Maine

Equal Pay

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 26 § 628

All

An employer may not discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in this State at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs that have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility.

Maryland

Equal Pay for Equal Work

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

All

An employer may not discriminate between employees in any occupation by paying a wage to employees of one sex or gender identity at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of another sex or gender identity or by providing less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gener identity.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

Massachusetts

Equal Pay Act

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

All

No employer shall discriminate in any way on the basis of gender in the payment of wages, or pay any person in its employ a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to its employees of a different gender for comparable work.

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

All

 

 

 

 

Employers with 2 or more employees

Any employer of labor in this state, employing both males and females, who shall discriminate in any way in the payment of wages as between sexes who are similarly employed, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

An employer having employees subject to this act shall not discriminate between employees within an establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in the establishment at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Minnesota

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 181.66, et. seq.

All private employers

No employer shall discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate the employer pays to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Mississippi

None

 

None

Missouri

Female Employees

Mo. Ann. Stat. § 290.410, et. seq.

All

No employer shall pay any female in his employ at wage rates less than the wage rates paid to male employees in the same establishment for the same quantity and quality of the same classification of work.

Provides for employer liability for damages.

Montana

Equal pay for women for equivalent service

Mont. Code Ann. 39-3-104

All

It is unlawful for the state or any county, municipal entity, school district, public or private corporation, person, or firm to employ women in any occupation within the state for compensation less than that paid to men for equivalent service or for the same amount or class of work or labor in the same industry, school, establishment, office, or place of employment of any kind or description.

Nebraska

Sex Discrimination

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

Private employers with 15 or more employees, all public employers

No employer shall discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex, by paying wages to any employee in such establishment at a wage rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Nevada

Discrimination on basis of sex prohibited

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.017

All

It is unlawful for any employer to discriminate between employees, employed within the same establishment, on the basis of sex by paying lower wages to one employee than the wages paid to an employee of the opposite sex who performs equal work.

New Hampshire

Discrimination in the Workplace: Equal Pay

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:37

All

No employer or person seeking employees shall discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for equal work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

New Jersey

Discrimination in Wages

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

All

No employer shall discriminate in any way in the rate or method of payment of wages to any employee because of his or her sex.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

New Mexico

Fair Pay for Women

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-23-1, et. seq.

Employers with 4 or more employees

No employer shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in the establishment at a rate less than the rate that the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in the establishment for equal work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

New York

Differential in rate of pay because of sex prohibited

N.Y. Labor Law §194, 198

Private employers

No employee shall be paid a wage at a rate less than the rate at which an employee of the opposite sex in the same establishment is paid for equal work on a job the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions.

Provides employer liability for damages.

North Carolina

No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-422.1

 

North Carolina has a general employment discrimination law.

North Dakota

Equal Pay for Men and Women

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

All

No employer may discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of gender, by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in this state at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite gender for comparable work on jobs which have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort, and responsibility.

Provides for cause of action to sue for damages.

Ohio

Wage discrimination

Ohio Rev. Code § 4111.17

All

No employer, including the state and political subdivisions thereof, shall discriminate in the payment of wages on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or ancestry by paying wages to any employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee for equal work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Oklahoma

Discriminatory Wages

40 Okla. Stat. Ann. § 198.1, et. seq.

All private employers

It shall be unlawful for any employer within the State of Oklahoma to willfully pay wages to women employees at a rate less than the rate at which he pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs which have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility.

Oregon

Discriminatory wage rates based on sex

Or. Rev. Stat. § 652.220, et. seq.

All

No employer shall in any manner discriminate between the sexes in the payment of wages for work of comparable character, the performance of which requires comparable skills.

Provides right of action to sue for damages.

Pennsylvania

Equal Pay Law

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

All

No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

Rhode Island

Wage Discrimination Based on Sex

R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. 1956, § 28-6-18, et. seq.

All

No employer shall discriminate in the payment of wages as between the sexes or shall pay any female in his or her employ salary or wage rates less than the rates paid to male employees for equal work or work on the same operations.

Provides cause of action to sue for damages.

South Carolina

No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

S.C. Code § 1-13-30

 

South Carolina has a general employment discrimination law that includes a prohibition of wage discrimination based on protected class status.

South Dakota

Equal Pay for Equal Work

S.D. Codified Laws § 60-12-15, et. seq.

All

No employer may discriminate between employees on the basis of sex, by paying wages to any employee in any occupation in this state at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs which have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort, and responsibility.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Tennessee

Sex Discrimination

Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-2-201, et. seq.

All

No employer shall discriminate between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying any employee salary or wage rates less than the rates the employer pays to any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Texas

Equal Work, Equal Pay

Tex. Lab. Code § 659.001, et. seq.

Employment discrimination law

Tex. Lab. Code § 21.001, et. seq.

State employers

Prohibits wage discrimination based on sex in public employment only.

 

Texas also has a general employment discrimination law prohibiting discrimination based on protected class status.

Utah

No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

Utah Code Ann. § 34a-5-101, et. seq.

 

Utah has a general employment discrimination law prohibiting wage discrimination based on race, color, sex, retaliation, pregnancy, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual oreientation, or gender identity.

Vermont

Fair Employment Practices Act

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21 § 495(a)(7), 495(b)

All

Within the general employment discrimination act, prohibiting wage discrimination based on sex. 

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Virginia

Equal pay irrespective of sex

Va. Code Ann. § 40.1-28.6

All

No employer having employees shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

Washington

Wage discrimination due to sex

Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 49.12.175

All

Any employer in this state, employing both males and females, who shall discriminate in any way in the payment of wages as between sexes or who shall pay any female a less wage, be it time or piece work, or salary, than is being paid to males similarly employed, or in any employment formerly performed by males, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

West Virginia

Equal Pay for Equal Work

W. Va. Code, § 21-5B-1, et. seq.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

W. Va. Code, § 21-5E-1, et. seq.

All private employers

 

 

State employers

Prohibits wage discrimination for private employers.

Provides a cause of action to sue for damages.

 

 

Prohibits wage discrimination for public employers.

Provides employer liability for damages.

Wisconsin

No equal pay law

Employment discrimination law

Wis. Stat. Ann. §111.31, et. seq.

 

Wisconsin has a general employment discrimination law that includes a prohibition of wage discrimination based on sex.

Wyoming

Equal Pay

Wyo. Stat.1977 § 27-4-301, et. seq.

All

No employer shall discriminate, within the same establishment in which the employees are employed, between employees on the basis of gender by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite gender for equal work.

Provides employer liability for damages.

 

Source: Westlaw 50-state statutory database searches, July 2015.
Note: Different states may exempt certain employers from the equal pay law for reasons other than size.  These exemptions will be listed within that state’s statute.
This table compiles state equal pay laws.  Other state employment discrimination laws may apply.