October 14, 2021

The federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 requires that men and women in the same workplace receive equal pay for equal work. Since then, every state (except for Mississippi) has enacted its own Equal Pay Act. In recent years, many states have taken further efforts to address equal pay, such as enacting laws that prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history, requiring disclosure of salary ranges and pay data, protecting employees who disclose their pay, expanding equal pay protections for characteristics other than sex, and broadening comparisons of work and pay. Stronger federal legislation — the Paycheck Fairness Act — was first introduced in 1997 but has failed to pass after numerous attempts —most recently in June 2021.

This roundup primarily focuses on recent state legislative initiatives pertaining to salary history bans and salary range disclosure requirements that affect private sector employers, and provides links to state resources from organizations, government websites, third-party resources and news articles. Certain cities have also taken action, but they are generally beyond the scope of this roundup.
 

Multi-state equal pay resources (in general)

Salary history bans

Many states have enacted laws that prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history.
 

Multi-state resources

Delaware

Hawaii

Maryland

Puerto Rico

Vermont

Salary range transparency

Several states require employers to disclose information about salary ranges for open positions or promotions — either voluntarily or upon request.
 

Multi-state

Washington

Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Fiona Webster
by Fiona Webster

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group


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