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Standard Pay Discrimination Laws
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Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans
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Alabama

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

Effective September 1, 2019

An employer may not pay any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of another sex or race for equal work within the same establishment on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, education, experience, and responsibility, and performance under similar working conditions. A wage differential is permitted where made pursuant to any of the following:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any factor other than race or sex.

Alabama HB 225 (2019).

Updated 06/12/2019

Salary History Restrictions

Effective September 1, 2019

An employer cannot refuse to interview, hire, promote, or employ an applicant for employment, or retaliate against an applicant for employment because the applicant does not provide wage history. "Wage history" means the wages paid to an applicant by the applicant's current or former employer.
Alabama HB 225 (2019).

Updated 06/12/2019

Alaska

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Alaska Human Rights Law prohibits:

  • discrimination in compensation on the basis of a protected classification; and
  • discrimination in wage payment on the basis of gender, or to employ a female in an occupation 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.

The Act does not specify any exceptions to the rule.
Alaska Stat. § 18.80.220.

Arizona

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

An employer cannot pay any employee 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.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 23-341.

The statute does not prohibit a variation in rates of pay for male and female employees engaged in the same classification of work based upon a difference in seniority, length of service, ability, skill, difference in duties or services performed, whether regularly or occasionally, difference in the shift or time of day worked, hours of work, or restrictions or prohibitions on lifting or moving objects in excess of specified weight, or other reasonable differentiation, factor or factors other than sex, when exercised in good faith.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 23-341.

Arkansas

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

An employer is required to pay employees equal compensation for equal service, and is prohibited from discriminating against any employee in the matter of wages or compensation solely on the basis of sex.
Ark. Code § 11-4-601.

An employer is further prohibited from discriminating in the payment of wages “as between the sexes” and from paying any female employee a salary or wage rate less than the rate paid to male employees for comparable work.
Ark. Code § 11-4-610.

The statute does not prohibit a variation in rates of pay based upon a difference in seniority, experience, training, skill, ability, differences in duties and services performed, differences in the shift or time of the day worked, or any other reasonable differentiation except difference in sex.
Ark. Code § 11-4-610.

California

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

California Equal Pay Act

An employer is prohibited from paying an employee at a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex or of another race or ethnicity for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions. The Equal Pay Act does not cover individuals employed as outside salespeople.

Wage differentials are permitted if the employer demonstrates that:

  • the wage differential is based upon one or more of the following factors:
    • a seniority system;
    • a merit system;
    • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
    • a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience. This factor shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that the factor is not based on or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, is job related with respect to the position in question, and is consistent with a business necessity;
  • each factor relied upon is applied reasonably; and
  • the factors the employer relied upon account for the entire wage differential. Prior salary shall not, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation.

However, this defense does not apply if the employee demonstrates that an alternative business practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing the wage differential.

An applicant's or employee's prior salary does not justify any disparity in compensation. However, this provision cannot be interpreted to mean that an employer may not make a compensation decision based on a current employee’s existing salary, so long as any wage differential resulting from that compensation decision is justified by one or more of the factors identified above.
Cal. Lab. Code § 1197.5.

Updated 07/20/2018

Salary History Inquiry Bans

California

An employer cannot:

  • rely on an applicant's salary history information as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer an applicant; or
  • seek salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant whether orally or in writing, personally or through an agent.

The statute does not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information to a prospective employer. In addition, if an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history information to a prospective employer, the statute does not prohibit the employer from considering or relying on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining the salary for that applicant. Consistent with the California Equal Pay Act, however, nothing in the statute may be construed to allow prior salary to justify any disparity in compensation.

The statute does not apply to salary history information disclosable to the public pursuant to federal or state law, including the California Public Records Act or the federal Freedom of Information Act.

An employer, upon reasonable request, must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment. “Pay scale” means a salary or hourly wage range. “Reasonable request” means a request made after an applicant has completed an initial interview with the employer.

An employer is not prohibited from asking an applicant about his or her salary expectation for the position being applied for. “Applicant” or “applicant for employment” means an individual who is seeking employment with the employer and is not currently employed with that employer in any capacity or position.
Cal. Lab. Code § 432.3.

San Francisco

The San Francisco Parity in Pay Ordinance prohibits employers from:

  • considering or relying on an applicant’s salary history as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer an applicant;
  • inquiring about an applicant's salary history; and
  • refusing to hire, or otherwise disfavoring, injuring, or retaliating against an applicant for not disclosing his or her salary history to the employer. "Employment" means any occupation, vocation, job, or work, including but not limited to temporary or seasonal work, part-time work, contracted work, contingent work, work on commission, and work through the services of a temporary or other employment agency, for which an applicant is to receive a salary, but does not include work as an independent contractor. "Salary" includes wages, commissions, and other monetary compensation. "Inquire" means any direct or indirect statement, question, prompting, or other communication, orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, to gather information from or about an applicant, using any mode of communication, including but not limited to application forms and interviews.

The Ordinance further prohibits an employer from releasing the salary history of a current or former employee to that person's prospective employer without the person's written authorization, unless the release of salary history is required by law, is part of a publicly available record, or is subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

The Ordinance does not prohibit an applicant from disclosing his or her salary history voluntarily and without prompting. If an applicant discloses his or her salary history in this manner, or provides written authorization for release of his or her salary history, an employer may consider the applicant's salary history to determine the applicant's salary or verify the applicant's salary history.

An employer may, without inquiring about salary history, engage in discussion with the applicant about the applicant’s expectations with respect to salary, including but not limited to unvested equity or deferred compensation or bonus that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant’s resignation from his or her current employment. An employer is also not prohibited from verifying non-salary related information the applicant disclosed or from conducting a background check, provided that if the verification or background check discloses the applicant’s salary history, the employer cannot consider salary history for purposes of determining the salary to be offered to the applicant during the hiring process or whether to offer employment to the applicant.

An employer cannot use salary history alone to justify paying any employee of a different sex, race or ethnicity less than an applicant or prospective employee for doing substantially similar work under similar working conditions.
San Francisco Police Code §§ 3300J.3, 3300J.4.

Updated 07/20/2018

Colorado

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

An employer cannot discriminate in the amount or rate of wages or salary paid or to be paid to employees solely on the basis of an employee’s sex. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-5-102. The statute does not specify any exceptions to the rule.

Effective January 1, 2021

An employer is prohibited from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex, or on the basis of sex in combination with another protected class, by paying an employee of one sex a wage rate less than the rate paid to an employee of a different sex for substantially similar work, regardless of job title, based on a composite of skill; effort, which may include consideration of shift work; and responsibility, except where the employer demonstrates each of the following:

  • that the wage rate differential is based on:
    • a seniority system;
    • a merit system;
    • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
    • the geographic location where the work is performed;
    • education, training, or experience to the extent that they are reasonably related to the work in question; or
    • travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed;
  • that each factor relied on is applied reasonably;
  • that each factor relied on accounts for the entire wage rate differential; and
  • that prior wage rate history was not relied on to justify a disparity in current wage rates.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-5-102 (as amended by Colorado SB 85 (2019)).

"Sex" means an employee's gender identity. “Wage rate” means:

  • for an employee paid on an hourly basis, the hourly compensation paid to the employee plus the value per hour of all other compensation and benefits received by the employee from the employer; and
  • for an employee paid on a salary basis, the total of all compensation and benefits received by the employee from the employer.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-5-101 (as amended by Colorado SB 85 (2019)).

An employer must make reasonable efforts to announce, post, or otherwise make known all opportunities for promotion to all current employees on the same calendar day and prior to making a promotion decision. An employer must also disclose in each posting for each job opening the hourly or salary compensation, or a range of the hourly or salary compensation, and a general description of all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired applicant. The employer must keep records of job descriptions and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of the employment plus two years after the end of employment in order to determine if there is a pattern of wage discrepancy.
Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 8-5-201 - 85-5-202.

Updated 05/30/2019

Salary History Inquiry Bans

Effective January 1, 2021

Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

An employer is prohibited from:

  • seeking the wage rate history of a prospective employee or relying on the wage rate history of a prospective employee to determine a wage rate;
  • discriminating or retaliating against a prospective employee for failing to disclose the prospective employee's wage rate history; and
  • using prior wage rate history to justify a disparity in current wage rates.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-5-102.

An employer must disclose in each posting for each job opening the hourly or salary compensation, or a range of the hourly or salary compensation, and a general description of all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired applicant. The employer must keep records of job descriptions and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of the employment plus two years after the end of employment in order to determine if there is a pattern of wage discrepancy.
Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 8-5-201 - 85-5-202.

Updated 05/30/2019

Connecticut

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer of 1 or more employees is prohibited from discriminating in the amount of compensation paid to any employee on the basis of sex. Any difference in pay based on sex constitutes discrimination within the meaning of the statute.

If an employee can demonstrate that the employer discriminates on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at the employer's business at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex at such business for equal work on a job, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, the employer must demonstrate that the pay differential is pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential system based upon a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training or experience.

The bona fide factor defense applies only if the employer demonstrates that the factor is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation, and is job-related and consistent with business necessity. The defense is inapplicable where the employee demonstrates that an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing a pay differential and that the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-75.

Any agreement to work for less than the wage to which an employee is entitled cannot serve as a defense to an equal pay violation claim.
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-76.

Updated 09/27/2017

Salary History Restrictions

Employers of 1 or more employees cannot inquire or direct a third party to inquire about a prospective employee's wage and salary history unless a prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed such information. "Wages" means compensation for labor or services rendered by an employee, whether the amount is determined on a time, task, piece, commission or other basis of calculation.

Exceptions:

  • The restriction does not apply to any actions taken by an employer, employment agency or employee or agent thereof pursuant to any federal or state law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes.
  • The statute does not prohibit an employer from inquiring about other elements of a prospective employee's compensation structure, as long as the employer does not inquire about the value of the elements of the compensation structure.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40z(b)(5).

Updated 05/23/2018

Delaware

Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer cannot pay an employee at a wage rate less than the rate at which an employee of the opposite sex in the same establishment is paid for equal work for a job the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions.
Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, § 1107A.

A wage differential is permitted if based on:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • any other factor other than sex.

An employer that is paying a wage rate differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee to comply with the statute.
Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, § 1107A.

Salary History Inquiry Ban

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer or an employer’s agent to:

  • screen applicants based on their compensation histories, including by requiring that an applicant’s prior compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or
  • seek the compensation history of an applicant from the applicant or a current or former employer.

“Compensation” includes monetary wages as well as benefits and other forms of compensation.

Exceptions:

  • an employer or agent is not prohibited from discussing and negotiating compensation expectations with an applicant, provided that the employer or agent does not request or require the applicant’s compensation history.
  • an employer or agent may seek the applicant’s compensation history after an offer of employment that includes terms of compensation has been extended to the applicant and accepted, for the sole purpose of confirming the applicant’s compensation history.

Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, § 709B.

District of Columbia

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The District of Columbia Human Rights Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to the individual’s compensation on the basis of a protected classification.
D.C. Code § 2-1402.11(a).

The statute does not specify any exceptions to the rule.

Florida

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers of 2 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating 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.
Fla. Stat. § 448.07.

Differences in wage rate are permitted where pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any reasonable factor other than sex when exercised in good faith.

Fla. Stat. § 448.07.

Florida contract law prohibits a person from discriminating against any person based on sex, marital status, or race in the areas of loaning money, granting credit, or providing equal pay for equal services performed.
Fla. Stat. § 725.07.

Georgia

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers of 10 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work in jobs which require equal skill, effort, and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions.
Ga. Code Ann. §§ 34-5-2, 34-5-3.

Wage differentials may be permitted where made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system,
  • a merit system,
  • a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage rate differential in violation of the statute cannot, in order to comply with the statute, reduce the wage rate of any employee.
Ga. Code Ann. § 34-5-3.

Hawaii

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

Equal Pay Statute

Employers of 1 or more employees cannot discriminate between employees in the same establishment because of sex by paying wages at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.
Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 378-1, 378-2.3(a).

Wage differentials are permissible if resulting from:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
  • a bona fide occupational qualification; or
  • a differential based on any other permissible factor other than sex.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-2.3(a).

Wage Discrimination

Hawaii’s wage and hour statute prohibits all employers from discriminating in any way in the payment of wages on the basis of race, religion, or sex.
Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 387-1, 387-4.

The law does not prohibit variation in wage rates for employees engaged in the same classification of work based upon:

  • a difference in seniority, length of service, substantial difference in duties or services performed; or
  • a difference in the shift or time of day worked or hours of work.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 387-4.

Salary History Inquiry Provisions

An employer, including an employment agency, or employee or agent thereof, is prohibited from:

  • inquiring about the salary history of an applicant for employment; or
  • relying on an applicant's salary history in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for the applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract.

"Salary history" includes an applicant for employment's current or prior wage, benefits, or other compensation, but does not include any objective measure of the applicant's productivity, such as revenue, sales, or other production reports. "Inquire" means to:

  • communicate any question or statement to an applicant for employment, an applicant's current or prior employer, or a current or former employee or agent of the applicant's current or prior employer, in writing, verbally, or otherwise, for the purpose of obtaining an applicant's salary history; or
  • conduct a search of publicly available records or reports for the purpose of obtaining an applicant's salary history.

Exceptions to the prohibition:

  • Without inquiring about salary history, an employer may engage in discussions with an applicant for employment about the applicant's expectations with respect to salary, benefits, and other compensation.
  • An employer may inform an applicant, in writing or otherwise, about the proposed or anticipated salary or salary range for the position.
  • If an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses his or her salary history, the employer may consider salary history in determining salary, benefits, and other compensation for the applicant, and may verify the applicant's salary history.

The prohibition does not apply:

  • to applicants being considered for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer;
  • any attempt by an employer to verify an applicant's disclosure of non-salary related information or conduct a background check; provided that if a verification or background check discloses the applicant's salary history, the employer cannot rely upon that disclosure during the hiring process for purposes of determining the applicant's salary, benefits, or other compensation, including the negotiation of an employment contract; and
  • public employee positions.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 378-2.4.

Updated 12/03/2018

Idaho

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

All employers are prohibited from discriminating among employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to any employee in any occupation 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.
Idaho Code Ann. §§ 44-1701, 44-1702.

Differentials based on established seniority systems or merit increase systems that do not discriminate on the basis of sex are permitted.
Idaho Code Ann. § 44-1702.

Illinois

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws

Illinois

The Illinois Equal Pay Act prohibits an employer from discriminating 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 (effective September 29, 2019, “substantially similar”) skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

The Act also prohibits an employer from discriminating between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a lower wage rate than that paid to non-African-American employees for the same or substantially similar work on jobs the performance of which requires equal (effective September 29, 2019, “substantially similar”) skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

A wage differential is permitted where the payment is made under:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex or a factor that would constitute unlawful discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act.

An employer paying wages in violation of the Act may not reduce the wages of any other employee in order to comply with the Act.
820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 112/10.

Salary History Inquiry Bans (effective September 29, 2019)

The Act makes it unlawful for an employer or employment agency, or employee or agent thereof, to:

  • screen job applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, including benefits or other compensation, by requiring that the wage or salary history of an applicant satisfy minimum or maximum criteria;
  • request or require a wage or salary history as a condition of being considered for employment, as a condition of being interviewed, as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, or as a condition of an offer of employment or an offer of compensation, or as a condition of employment.

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 112/10(b-5).

It is also unlawful for an employer to seek an applicant's wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, from any current or former employer. This prohibition does not apply if:

  • the job applicant's wage or salary history is a matter of public record under the Freedom of Information Act, or any other equivalent state or federal law, or is contained in a document completed by the job applicant's current or former employer and then made available to the public by the employer, or submitted or posted by the employer to comply with state or federal law; or
  • the job applicant is a current employee and is applying for a position with the same current employer.

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 112/10(b-10).

The Act does not prohibit employer or employment agency, or an employee or agent thereof, from:

  • providing information about the wages, benefits, compensation, or salary offered in relation to a position; or
  • engaging in discussions with an applicant for about the applicant's expectations with respect to wage or salary, benefits, and other compensation.

820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 112/10(b-15).

An employer is not in violation of the Act if a job applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses his or her current or prior wage or salary history, including benefits or other compensation, on the condition that the employer does not consider or rely on the voluntary disclosures as a factor in determining whether to offer a job applicant employment, in making an offer of compensation, or in determining future wages, salary, benefits, or other compensation.
820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 112/10(b-20).

An employer cannot discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any individual because the individual fails to comply with any wage or salary history inquiry.
820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 112/10(c).

Chicago

The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance prohibits employers from discriminating among employees based upon membership in a protected class (race, color, sex, gender identity, age, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, military status, credit history, criminal record or criminal history, or source of income) in negotiating or establishing wages, benefits or other compensation. An employer may not differentiate, based upon membership in a protected class, among employees performing the same or substantially the same work under like working conditions in fixing the employees’ wages and benefits.

A wage differential may be permissible where the employer is hiring or selecting between individuals based on bona fide occupational qualifications.
Chicago Muni. Code § 2-160-030; Chicago Rules Implementing the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance, Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance, and the Commission on Human Relations' Enabling Ordinance § 325.100.

Updated 12/05/2018

Indiana

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Indiana minimum wage statute prohibits non-FLSA-covered employers from discriminating between employees within any establishment on the basis of sex by paying an employee a rate less than the rate at which the employer 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.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the equal pay provisions cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the statute.

Iowa

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws

The Iowa Civil Rights Law makes it an unfair or discriminatory practice for an employer of 4 or more employees to discriminate against an employee on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability 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, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

A pay differential may be permissible if:

  • made pursuant to a seniority system;
  • made pursuant to a merit system;
  • made pursuant to a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • based on any other factor other than the employee’s age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability.

An employer paying wages to an employee at a rate less than the rate paid to other employees in violation of the statute cannot remedy the violation by reducing the wage rate of any employee.
Iowa Code § 216.6A.

Kansas

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Kansas Minimum Wage and Maximum Hours Law prohibits non-FLSA-covered employers from discriminating between employees within any establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages at a rate less than the rate of wages paid 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.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the equal pay provisions cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
Kan. Stat. § 44-1205.

Kentucky

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers of 2 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to any employee in any occupation at a rate less than the rate at which he or she pays any employee of the opposite sex for comparable work on jobs that have comparable requirements relating to skill, effort and responsibility.

The prohibition does not apply to wage differentials paid pursuant to established seniority systems or merit increase systems and that do not discriminate on the basis of sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the equal pay provisions cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 337.420, 337.423.

Louisiana

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

It is unlawful discrimination for an employer to intentionally pay wages to an employee at a rate less than that of another employee of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs in which their performance requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions. It is not unlawful for an employer to apply different standards of compensation pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system, or a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or any other differential based on any factor other than sex, or to employees who work in different locations, provided that such differences are not the result of an intention to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

An employer paying wages in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
La. Rev. Stat. § 23:332.

Maine

Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer is prohibited from discriminating between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to any employee in any occupation 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.

Differentials are permissible if paid pursuant to established seniority systems or merit increase systems or difference in the shift or time of the day worked that do not discriminate on the basis of sex.
Me. Stat. tit. 26, § 628.

Salary History Inquiry Bans

Effective September 17, 2019

An employer may not use or inquire about a prospective employee's compensation history from the prospective employee or a current or former employer of the prospective employee unless an offer of employment that includes all terms of compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee. After the employer makes such an offer of employment, the employer may inquire about or confirm the prospective employee's compensation history.
Me. Stat. tit. 5, § 4577; Me. Stat. tit. 26, § 628-A.

If an employee or prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed compensation history information, without prompting by the employer or employment agency, the employer or employment agency may seek to confirm or permit a prospective employee to confirm such information prior to an offer of employment.
Me. Stat. tit. 5, § 4577.

The prohibition on compensation history inquiries does not apply to an employer who inquires about compensation history pursuant to any federal or state law that specifically requires the disclosure or verification of compensation history for employment purposes.
Me. Stat. tit. 5, § 4577; Me. Stat. tit. 26, § 628-A.

Violation of the prohibition on compensation history inquiries is evidence of unlawful employment discrimination under the Maine Human Rights Act.
Me. Stat. tit. 5, § 4577.

Updated 04/16/2019

Maryland

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws

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 if both employees work in the same establishment and perform work of comparable character or work on the same operation, in the same business, or of the same type; or
  • providing less favorable employment opportunities based on sex or gender identity.

An employee is considered to work at the same establishment as another employee if the employees work for the same employer at workplaces located in the same county.

“Providing less favorable employment opportunities” means:

  • assigning or directing the employee into a less favorable career track, if career tracks are offered, or position;
  • failing to provide information about promotions or advancement in the full range of career tracks offered by the employer; or
  • limiting or depriving an employee of employment opportunities that would otherwise be available to the employee but for the employee's sex or gender identity.

The statute does not prohibit a variation in a wage that is based on:

  • a seniority system that does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender identity;
  • a merit increase system that does not discriminate on the basis of sex or gender identity;
  • jobs that require different abilities or skills;
  • jobs that require the regular performance of different duties or services;
  • work that is performed on different shifts or at different times of day;
  • a system that measures performance based on a quality or quantity of production; or
  • a bona fide factor other than sex or gender identity, including education, training, or experience, in which the factor:
    • is not based on or derived from a gender–based differential in compensation;
    • is job related with respect to the position and consistent with a business necessity; and
    • accounts for the entire differential.

An employer paying a wage in violation of the statute may not reduce another wage to comply with the statute.
Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. § 3-304.

Massachusetts

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

The Massachusetts Act to Establish Pay Equity prohibits an employer from discriminating on the basis of gender in the payment of wages, or from paying an employee a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to employees of a different gender for comparable work.

“Comparable work” means work that is substantially similar in that it requires substantially similar skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions, irrespective of job titles or descriptions. Multi-state employers should ensure that employees within the same geographic area within Massachusetts are paid equally for performing comparable work, unless excluding out-of-state employees from the analysis is not reasonable under the circumstances. "Substantially similar" means that each of the factors being considered are alike to a great or significant extent, but are not necessarily identical or alike in all respects. Minor differences in skill, effort, or responsibility will not prevent two jobs from being considered comparable. “Working conditions” means environmental and other similar circumstances customarily taken into consideration in setting salary or wages, including but not limited to reasonable shift differentials, and the physical surroundings and hazards encountered by employees performing a job. "Working conditions" also includes the day or time shifts are scheduled.

Variations in wages are not prohibited if based upon:

  • a system that rewards seniority with the employer, except that time spent on pregnancy disability leave or parental, family and medical leave does not reduce seniority;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, sales, or revenue;
  • the geographic location in which a job is performed; education, training or experience to the extent these factors are reasonably related to the particular job in question; or
  • travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the particular job.

Different geographic work locations may constitute a valid reason for variations in pay for comparable work when the locations correspond with different costs of living or differences in the relevant labor market from one geographic location to another.

An employer that completes a good-faith self-evaluation of its pay practices within three years of a previous claim for equal pay violations, and can demonstrate that reasonable progress has been made towards eliminating compensation differentials based on gender, has an affirmative defense to liability for an equal pay violation. Relevant factors include whether the evaluation includes a reasonable number of jobs and employees; whether the evaluation takes into account all reasonably relevant and available information; and whether the evaluation is reasonably sophisticated in its analysis of potentially comparable jobs, employee compensation, and the application of the permissible reasons for pay disparities. If an employer’s self-evaluation is found to be insufficient in detail or scope, but was nonetheless conducted in good faith, and the employer has made reasonable progress toward eliminating identified pay disparities, the employer will not be required to pay liquidated damages to an affected employee or employees. Administrative guidance provides a detailed guide to performing self-evaluations.
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, An Act to Establish Pay Equity: Overview and Frequently Asked Questions (March 1, 2018) at Appendix A.

The Act covers all Massachusetts employers, including those outside of Massachusetts if they have employees with a primary place of work in Massachusetts. The Act applies to employees with a primary place of work in Massachusetts. It does not matter where an employee lives. For most employees, the location where they do most of their work for their employer is their primary place of work.

  • If the employee spends work hours traveling outside Massachusetts but returns regularly to a Massachusetts base of operations before resuming a new travel schedule, Massachusetts is the primary place of work.
  • If an employee is constantly switching locations of work, the primary place of work may be determined by assessing the state in which the employee spent the plurality of his or her working time over the previous year. For new employees, employers should make a reasonable assessment of the primary place of work.
  • If an employee telecommutes through an arrangement with his or her employer to a Massachusetts worksite, Massachusetts is the primary place of work even though the employee does not physically spend those telecommuting hours in Massachusetts.
  • It is not necessary for an employee to spend 50% of the employee’s working time in Massachusetts for it to be the employee’s primary place of work.
  • If an employee permanently relocates to Massachusetts, the employee’s primary place of work will become Massachusetts on the first date of actual work in Massachusetts.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 105A [as amended by Massachusetts SB 119 (2016)]; Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, An Act to Establish Pay Equity: Overview and Frequently Asked Questions (March 1, 2018).

Updated 03/05/2018

Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer is prohibited from:

  • seeking a job applicant’s wage or salary history from the applicant or from the applicant’s current or former employer; or
  • requiring that an applicant’s prior wage or salary history meet certain criteria.

If an applicant has voluntarily disclosed such information, the employer may confirm the applicant’s prior wages or salary or permit the applicant to confirm prior wages or salary. The information will qualify as "voluntarily disclosed" if a reasonable person in the prospective employee’s position would not think, based on the employer’s words or actions, that the employer suggested or encouraged the disclosure. In addition, an employer may ask about a prospective employee's salary requirements or expectations.

The employer is also permitted to seek or confirm an applicant’s wage or salary history after extending to the applicant an offer of employment in which the compensation for the position has been negotiated.
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 105A [as amended by Massachusetts SB 119 (2016)]; Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, An Act to Establish Pay Equity: Overview and Frequently Asked Questions (March 1, 2018).

Updated 03/05/2018

Michigan

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

A non-FLSA-covered employer with 2 or more employees is prohibited from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees within 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, the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and that is performed under similar working conditions.

A wage differential is permitted if payment is made pursuant to one or more of the following:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on a factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage rate of an employee to comply with the statute.
Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 408.412, 408.423.

An employer that discriminates in any way in the payment of wages as between male and female employees who are similarly employed is guilty of a misdemeanor. However, any difference in wage rates based upon a factor other than sex does not violate the statute.
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.556.

Minnesota

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Minnesota Equal Pay for Equal Work Law prohibits employers from discriminating 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.

Pay differentials are permitted if payment is made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee to comply with the statute.
Minn. Stat. § 181.67.

Mississippi

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

No provision. However, Mississippi employers must follow federal law.

Federal Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act prohibits FLSA-covered employers from discriminating between employees within the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which the employer 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.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce an employee’s wages in order to comply.
29 U.S.C. § 206(d).

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII prohibits employers of 15 or more employees from discriminating against an individual with respect to compensation on the basis of a protected classification.

It is not an unlawful employment practice for an employer to apply different standards of compensation pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system, or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or to employees who work in different locations, provided that such differences are not the result of an intention to discriminate on the basis of a protected classification.
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, 2000e-2.

Missouri

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer is prohibited from paying any female employee 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.

The statute does not prohibit a variation of rates of pay for male and female employees engaged in the same classification of work, when made in good faith based upon:

  • a difference in seniority, length of service, ability, skill, difference in duties or services performed;
  • a difference in the shift or time of day worked, hours of work, or restrictions or prohibitions on lifting or moving objects in excess of specified weight; or
  • another reasonable differentiation or factors other than sex.

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.410.

Kansas City

Employers of 6 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against any individual with respect to compensation because of such individual's race, color, sex, religion, national origin or ancestry, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or age.
Kansas City Code of Ordinances §§ 38-1(a)(16), 38-103(a).

However, it is not an unlawful employment practice for an employer to apply different standards of compensation or different terms, conditions or privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system.
Kansas City Code of Ordinances § 38-103(b).

Updated 05/29/2019

Salary History Inquiry Bans

Missouri

No statewide provision

Kansas City

Employers of 6 or more employees are prohibited from:

  • inquiring about an applicant's salary history;
  • screening applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, or other compensation, or salary histories, including requiring that an applicant's prior wages, benefits, other compensation or salary history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria;
  • rely on an applicant's salary history in deciding whether to offer employment to an applicant, or in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract; or
  • refusing to hire or otherwise disfavoring, injuring, or retaliating against an applicant for not disclosing his or her salary history to an employer.

Kansas City Code of Ordinances §§ 38-1(a)(16), 38-102(a).

"Salary history" means an applicant's current or prior wages, benefits, or other compensation, and does not include any objective measure of the applicant's productivity, such as revenue, sales, or other production reports. "Inquire" means to communicate any question or statement to an applicant, an applicant’s current or prior employers, or a current or former employee or agent of the applicant’s current or prior employer, in writing or otherwise, for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history, or to conduct a search of publically available records or reports for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history, but does not include informing the applicant in writing or otherwise about the position’s proposed or anticipated salary or salary range.
Kansas City Code of Ordinances § 38-1(a).

An employer or its agent may, without inquiring about salary history, engage in discussion with the applicant about the expectations with respect to salary, benefits, and other compensation, including but not limited to unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant's resignation from their current employer.
Kansas City Code of Ordinances § 38-102(b).

The prohibition on salary history inquiries does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • employees applying for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer;
  • an applicant's voluntary and unprompted disclosure of salary history information;
  • any attempt by an employer to verify an applicant's disclosure of non-salary-related information or conduct a background check, provided that if the verification or background check discloses the applicant's salary history, the employer cannot rely on the disclosure for purposes of determining the applicant's salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract;
  • employee positions for which salary, benefits, or other compensation are determined pursuant to procedures established by collective bargaining; and
  • applicants who are re-hired by the employer within five years of the the applicant's most recent date of termination from employment by the employer, provided that the employer already has past salary history data regarding the applicant from the previous employment.

Kansas City Code of Ordinances § 38-102(c).

Montana

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

It is unlawful for an employer 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, establishment, office, or place of employment of any kind or description. The statute does not specify any exceptions to the rule.
Mont. Code Ann. § 39-3-104.

Nebraska

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers of 2 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating between employees in the same establishment on the basis of sex by paying wages to an employee at a wage rate less than the rate at which the employer pays any employee of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs which require equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.

The prohibition does not apply to wage differentials made pursuant to:

  • an established seniority system;
  • a merit increase system; or
  • a system which measures earning by quantity or quality of production or any factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute may not reduce the wages of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 48-1220, 48-1221.

Nevada

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of sex between employees at the same establishment by paying lower wages to one employee than the wages paid to an employee of the opposite sex who performs equal work which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and which is performed under similar working conditions.

A wage differential is permissible where wages are paid pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a compensation system under which wages are determined by the quality or quantity of production; or
  • a wage differential based on factors other than sex.

An employer that violates the statute may not reduce the wages of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
Nev. Rev. Stat. § 608.17.

New Hampshire

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer is prohibited from discriminating 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 that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. The prohibition does not apply where such payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit or performance-based system;
  • a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
  • expertise;
  • shift differentials;
  • a demonstrable factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience.

An employer paying wages in violation of the statute may not reduce the wages of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:37.

New Jersey

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

Equal Pay Statute

New Jersey law prohibits employers from discriminating in any way in the rate or method of payment of wages to any employee because of his or her sex.

A differential in pay between employees based on a reasonable factor or factors other than sex does not constitute wage discrimination.
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:11-56.2.

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

The Law Against Discrimination prohibits an employer from paying any employee who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, that is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.

An employer may pay a different rate of compensation only if the employer demonstrates that the differential is made pursuant to a seniority system, a merit system, or the employer demonstrates:

  • that the differential is based on one or more legitimate, bona fide factors other than the characteristics of members of the protected class, such as training, education or experience, or the quantity or quality of production;
  • that the factor or factors are not based on, and do not perpetuate, a differential in compensation based on sex or any other characteristic of members of a protected class;
  • that each of the factors is applied reasonably;
  • that one or more of the factors account for the entire wage differential; and
  • that the factors are job-related with respect to the position in question and based on a legitimate business necessity.

A factor based on business necessity does not apply if it is demonstrated that there are alternative business practices that would serve the same business purpose without producing the wage differential. Comparisons of wage rates will be based on wage rates in all of an employer’s operations or facilities.

An employer paying a rate of compensation in violation of the statute cannot reduce the rate of compensation of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 10:5-12(t).

Salary History Restrictions

Effective January 1, 2020

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to:

  • screen a job applicant based on the applicant’s salary history, including, but not limited to, the applicant’s prior wages, salaries or benefits; or
  • require that the applicant’s salary history satisfy any minimum or maximum criteria.

However, an employer is permitted to:

  • consider salary history in determining salary, benefits, and other compensation for the applicant, and may verify the applicant’s salary history, if an applicant voluntarily, without employer prompting or coercion, provides the employer with salary history. An applicant’s refusal to volunteer compensation information shall not be considered in any employment decisions;
  • request that an applicant provide the employer with a written authorization to confirm salary history, including, but not limited to, the applicant’s compensation and benefits, after an offer of employment that includes an explanation of the overall compensation package has been made to the applicant;
  • acquire salary history information that is publicly available, but the employer cannot retain or consider that information when determining the applicant's salary, benefits, or other compensation unless the applicant voluntarily, without employer prompting or coercion, provides the employer with salary history. An applicant’s refusal to volunteer compensation information cannot be considered in any employment decisions; and
  • offer an applicant information regarding wage or salary rates set for the job position by collective bargaining agreements or by civil service or other laws, or from paying those rates if the applicant is hired.

Moreover, the statute does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • applications for internal transfer or promotion with an employee’s current employer, or the employer's use of previous knowledge obtained as a consequence of the employee's prior employment with the employer;
  • actions taken by an employer pursuant to any federal law or regulation that expressly requires the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes, or requires knowledge of salary history to determine an employee’s compensation;
  • any attempt by an employer to obtain, or verify a job applicant’s disclosure of, non-salary related information when conducting a background check on the job applicant, provided that, when requesting information for the background check, the employer must specify that salary history information is not to be disclosed. If, notwithstanding that specification, salary history information is disclosed, the employer cannot retain that information or consider it when determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for the applicant; or
  • employer inquiries regarding an applicant’s previous experience with incentive and commission plans and the terms and conditions of those plans, except that the employer cannot:
    • seek or require the applicant to report information about the amount of the applicant's earnings in connection with the plans; and
    • make any inquiry regarding the applicant’s previous experience with incentive and commission plans unless the job position includes an incentive or commission component as part of the total compensation program.

An applicant may provide salary history information, including information regarding the applicant’s experience with incentive or commission plans, to an employment agency contacted by the applicant for assistance in searching for and identifying employment opportunities, but the employment agency cannot share the information with potential employers without the applicant's express written consent.
New Jersey AB 1094 (2019).

New Mexico

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act prohibits employers with 4 or more employees from discriminating within any establishment 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 for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and that are performed under similar working conditions.

A wage differential is permitted where the payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system; or
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.

An employer cannot reduce the wage of an employee to comply with the statute.
N.M. Stat. §§ 28-23-2, 28-23-3.

New York

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

New York State

An employer is prohibited from paying wages to an employee 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.

Employees are considered to work in the same establishment if the employees work for the same employer at workplaces located in the same geographical region, no larger than a county, taking into account population distribution, economic activity, and/or the presence of municipalities.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to a differential based on:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience.

The bona fide factor cannot be based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation and must be job-related with respect to the position in question and consistent with business necessity. The bona fide factor exception does not apply if the employee demonstrates that:

  • an employer uses a particular employment practice that causes a disparate impact on the basis of sex;
  • an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose and not produce a differential; and
  • the employer has refused to adopt the alternative practice.

N.Y. Lab. Law §§ 190, 194.

Salary History Inquiry Bans

New York State (effective January 6, 2020)

Employers of 1 or more employees are prohibited from:

  • relying on the wage or salary history of an applicant in determining whether to offer employment to the applicant or in determining the wages or salary for the applicant;
  • orally or in writing seeking, requesting, or requiring an applicant's wage or salary history as a condition of being interviewed, or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, or as a condition of employment or promotion;
  • orally or in writing seeking, requesting, or requiring the wage or salary history of an applicant or current employee from a current or former employer, current or former employee, or agent of the applicant or current employee's current or former employer, except to confirm the individual's wage or salary history she or he provided in response to an offer of employment;
  • refusing to interview, hire, promote, otherwise employ, or otherwise retaliating against an applicant or current employee based upon prior wage or salary history;
  • refusing to interview, hire, promote, otherwise employ, or otherwise retaliating against an applicant or current employee because the applicant or current employee did not provide wage or salary history in accordance with the statute; and
  • refusing to interview, hire, promote, otherwise employ, or otherwise retaliating against an applicant or current or former employee because the applicant or current or former employee filed a complaint with the Department of Labor alleging a violation of the statute.

An employer may confirm wage or salary history only if at the time an offer of employment with compensation is made, the applicant or current employee responds to the offer by providing prior wage or salary information to support a wage or salary higher than offered by the employer.

The statute does not prevent an applicant or current employee from voluntarily, and without prompting, disclosing or verifying wage or salary history, including but not limited to for the purposes of negotiating wages or salary.

The statute does not diminish an applicant's or current or former employee's rights under any other law or regulation or under any collective bargaining agreement or employment contract. The statute also does not supersede any federal, state or local law enacted prior to January 6, 2020 that requires the disclosure or verification of salary history information to determine an employee's compensation.
N.Y. Lab. Law § 194-a; New York SB 6549 (2019).

New York City

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice under the New York City Human Rights Law for an employer, employment agency, or employee or agent thereof to:

  • inquire about a job applicant’s salary history; or
  • rely on an applicant’s salary history in determining the salary, benefits or other compensation for the applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract.

Per the New York City Commission on Human Rights, an employer cannot:

  • ask applicants questions about or make statements intended to solicit information about applicants’ current or prior earnings or benefits;
  • ask applicants’ current or former employers about applicants’ current or prior earnings or benefits; or
  • search public records to learn about applicants’ current or prior earnings or benefits.

New York City Commission on Human Rights Employer Fact Sheet: Protections Against Inquiries Into Job Applicants' Salary History.

An employer may, without inquiring about salary history, engage in discussion with the applicant about their expectations with respect to salary, benefits and other compensation, including but not limited to unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant’s resignation from their current employer.

If an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history to an employer, the employer may consider salary history in determining the applicant’s salary, benefits and other compensation, and may verify the applicant’s salary history.

The ordinance does not apply to:

  • actions taken by an employer pursuant to any federal, state or local law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes, or specifically requires knowledge of salary history to determine an employee’s compensation;
  • applicants for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer; or
  • any attempt by an employer to verify an applicant’s disclosure of non-salary related information or conduct a background check, provided that if the verification or background check discloses the applicant’s salary history, the employer cannot rely on the disclosure for purposes of determining the applicant’s salary, benefits or other compensation during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract.

N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-107(25).

Albany County

The Albany County Human Rights Law prohibits employers of 4 or more employees from:

  • screening job applicants based on their wage, including benefits or other compensation or salary histories, including by requiring that an applicant’s prior wages, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, satisfy minimum or maximum criteria;
  • requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed, or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, that a job applicant disclose prior wages or salary history; or
  • seeking the applicant’s salary history from any current or former employer.

After the employer extends an offer of employment with compensationto the job applicant, the applicant may provide written authorization to the employer or employment agency to confirm prior wages, including benefits or other compensation or salary history.
Albany County, NY Local Law No. 1 for 2000 (Omnibus Human Rights Law for Albany County) as amended by Local Law No. P for 2016 § 7(1)(i). See also Albany County, NY Local Law No. 1 for 2000 (Omnibus Human Rights Law for Albany County) as amended by Local Law No. A for 2013 § 7(2); N.Y. Exec. Law § 292 (employer coverage).

Suffolk County

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer of 4 or more employees to:

  • inquire, whether in any form of application or otherwise, about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including but not limited to, compensation and benefits; or
  • rely on the salary history of an applicant for employment in determining the wage or salary amount for such applicant at any stage in the employment process including the offer or contract.

"Inquire” means to ask an applicant or former employer orally, in writing, or otherwise, or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports.

The above prohibitions do not apply to:

  • any actions taken by an employer, employment agency, employee or agent thereof pursuant to any federal, state or local law that requires the disclosure or verification of salary for employment purposes; or
  • the exercise of any right of an employer or employee pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

Suffolk Cty., N.Y. Code of Ordinances § 528-7(13).

Westchester County (sunsets January 6, 2020)

It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer with 4 or more employees to:

  • rely on a prospective employee's wage history from any current or former employer in determining wages for the prospective employee;
  • request or require, orally or in writing, as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, or as a condition of employment, that a prospective employee disclose information about his or her wages from any current employer;
  • seek, orally or in writing, a prospective employee's previous wages from any current or former employer; and
  • refuse to hire or otherwise retaliate against an employee or prospective employee based upon prior wage or salary history or because the employee or prospective employee has opposed any act or practice prohibited in this ordinance.

An employer may rely on wage or salary history if the prospective employee voluntarily provides it in order to support a higher wage than that offered by the employer.

An employer may seek to confirm a prospective employee's prior wage information only after extending an offer of employment with compensation to the prospective employee, and the prospective employee responds to the offer by providing wage information to support a higher wage than that offered by the employer. The employer must obtain the prospective employee's written authorization to seek his or her prior wage information.
Westchester Cty., N.Y. Code of Ordinances §§ 700.02, 700.03(9).

Note: In the event the state of New York enacts statewide legislation prohibiting employers from seeking a prospective employee's wage or salary history, or a state or federal agency promulgates regulations preempting this action by Westchester County, this ordinance will become null and void upon enactment of the statewide law. Thus, the Westchester County salary history ordinance will sunset on January 6, 2020, when the New York State law takes effect.
Westchester Cty., N.Y. Code of Ordinances § 700.03(9); New York SB 6549 (2019).

Updated 7/10/2018

North Carolina

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer of 15 or more employees to discriminate against a qualified person with a disability on the basis of a disabling condition with respect to compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 168A-5.

A wage differential is permitted where made pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system, or a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of work or production, or differences in location of employment.
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 168A-9.

North Dakota

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

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

The prohibition does not apply to wage differentials paid pursuant to established seniority systems, systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production, merit systems, or a bona fide factor other than gender, such as education, training, or experience, and which do not discriminate on the basis of gender.

An employer that is paying a wage differential in violation of the statute may not, in order to comply with this chapter, reduce the wage rates of any employee.
N.D. Cent. Code § 34-06.1-03.

Ohio

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

An employer of 2 or more employees is prohibited from discriminating 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 on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar conditions.

The statute does not prohibit wage differentials when the payment is made pursuant to any of the following:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by the quantity or quality of production; or
  • a wage differential determined by any factor other than race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or ancestry.

An employer cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
Ohio Rev. Code §§ 4111.14, 4111.17.

Salary History Inquiry Bans

Cincinnati (effective March 12, 2020)

Employers of 15 or more employees are prohibited from:

  • inquiring about the salary history of an applicant for employment;
  • screening job applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, other compensation, or salary histories, including requiring that an applicant's prior wages, benefits, other compensation or salary history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria;
  • relying on an applicant's salary history in deciding whether to offer employment to the applicant, or in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract; and
  • refusing to hire or otherwise disfavoring, injuring, or retaliating against an applicant for not disclosing his or her salary history to the employer.

Cincinnati Muni. Code §§ 804-01, 804-03.

"Applicant" means any person applying for employment to be performed within the geographic boundaries of the City of Cincinnati, and whose application, in whole or in part, will be solicited, received, processed, or considered in the City of Cincinnati, regardless of whether the applicant is interviewed.
Cincinnati Muni. Code § 804-01.

"Employment" means any occupation, vocation, job, or work, including but not limited to temporary and seasonal work, part-time work, contracted work, contingent work, work on commission, and work through the services of a temporary or other employment agency for which the applicant is to receive wages or a salary, but does not include work as an independent contractor.
Cincinnati Muni. Code § 804-01.

"Inquire" means to communicate any question or statement to an applicant, an applicant's current or prior employers, or a current or former employee or agent of the applicant's current or prior employer, in writing or otherwise, for the purpose of obtaining an applicant's salary history, or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports for the purpose of obtaining an applicant's salary history, but does not include informing the applicant in writing or otherwise about the position's proposed or anticipated salary or salary range.
Cincinnati Muni. Code § 804-01.

"Salary history" includes the applicant's current or prior wage, benefits, or other compensation, and does not include any objective measure of the applicant's productivity such as revenue, sales, or other production reports.
Cincinnati Muni. Code § 804-01.

Exceptions to the prohibition against salary history inquiries and consideration:

  • an employer may, without inquiring about salary history, engage in discussion with an applicant about his or her expectations with respect to salary, benefits, and other compensation, including but not limited to unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant's resignation from their current employer;
  • actions taken by an employer pursuant to any federal, state, or local law that specifically authorizes reliance on salary history to determine an employee's compensation;
  • applications for internal transfer or promotion with the applicant's current employer;
  • voluntary and unprompted disclosure of salary history information by an applicant;
  • any attempt by an employer to verify an applicant's disclosure of non-salary related information or conduct a background check, provided that if the verification or background check discloses the applicant's salary history, the employer cannot rely upon the information for purposes of determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for the applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract;
  • applicants who are re-hired by the employer within 5 years of the applicant's most recent date of termination from employment by the employer, provided that the employer already has the applicant's past salary history data;
  • positions for which salary, benefits, or other compensation are determined pursuant to procedures established by a collective bargaining agreement; and
  • hiring by an employer that, within the previous 3 years and before an action is filed against it, has received an external review and certification, and made the certification publicly available, that the employer's practices do not include salary history in the hiring process.

Cincinnati Muni. Code § 804-03.

An employer, upon reasonable request, must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant who has received a conditional offer of employment for the position by the employer.
Cincinnati Muni. Code § 804-03.

Updated 03/14/2019

Oklahoma

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

An employer is prohibited from willfully paying wages to women employees 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.

Wage differentials are not unlawful where made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system; a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any factor other than sex.

Okla. Stat. tit. 40, § 198.1.

Oregon

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to:

  • in any manner discriminate between employees on the basis of a protected class in the payment of wages or other compensation for work of comparable character; or
  • pay wages or other compensation to any employee at a rate greater than that at which the employer pays wages or other compensation to employees of a protected class for work of comparable character.

“Compensation” includes wages, salary, bonuses, benefits, fringe benefits and equity-based compensation. “Work of comparable character” means work that requires substantially similar knowledge, skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions in the performance of work, regardless of job description or job title. The administrative rules provide definitions for "knowledge considerations," "skill considerations," "effort considerations," "responsibility considerations," and "working conditions."
See Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0010.

The prohibition against pay discrimination does not apply where payment is made pursuant to a seniority or merit system that does not discriminate on the basis of sex, or a wage differential between employees is based in good faith on factors other than sex.

Evaluations of work of comparable character need only consider comparisons of Oregon employees. An employer may pay employees for work of comparable character at different compensation levels if all of the difference in compensation levels is based on a bona fide factor that is related to the position in question and is based on:

  • a seniority system that recognizes and compensates employees based on length of service with the employer;
  • a merit system that provides for variations in pay based upon employee performance as measured through jobrelated criteria, for example, a written performance evaluation plan or policy that measures employee performance using a set numerical or other established rating scale, such as from “unsatisfactory” to “exceeds expectations,” and takes employees’ ratings into account in determining employee pay rates;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, including
    • piece-rate work;
    • workplace locations, including butnot limited to the cost of living, desirability of worksite location, access to worksite location, minimum wage zones, or wage and hour zones;
    • travel, if travel is necessary and regular for the employee;
    • educational considerations, including but not limited to substantive knowledge acquired through relevant coursework, as well as any completed certificate or degree program;
    • training, including but not limited to on-the-job training acquired in current or past positions as well as training acquired through a formal training program;
    • experience; or
    • any combination of the factors above, if the combination of factors accounts for the entire compensation differential.

An employer may provide different benefits as part of compensation to employees performing work of comparable character if the same benefit options are offered to all employees performing work of comparable character. The cost of a bona fide benefit offered by an employer, but declined by an employee, may be considered as part of the total amount of compensation paid to the employee.

An employer may not reduce the compensation level of an employee to comply with the provisions of the statute. Red circling, freezing, or otherwise holding an employee’s compensation constant as other employees come into alignment are not considered reductions in the compensation level for the employee whose compensation is being held constant.

Amounts owed to an employee because of an employer’s failure to comply with the requirements of the equal pay statute are considered unpaid wages.
Or. Rev. Stat. § 652.220; Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0010 (work of comparable character); Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0015 (bona fide factors); Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0020 (benefits); Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0025 (reductions in compensation).

An employer may elect to conduct an equal pay analysis as a safe harbor against liability for damages. In an action for violation of the equal pay statute, such an employer may file a motion to disallow an award of compensatory and punitive damages in which the employer must demostrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the employer:

  • completed, within 3 years before the date that the employee filed the action, an equal pay analysis of the employer’s pay practices in good faith that was:
    • reasonable in detail and in scope in light of the size of the employer; and
    • related to the protected class asserted by the plaintiff in the action; and
  • eliminated the wage differentials for the plaintiff and has made reasonable and substantial progress toward eliminating wage differentials for the protected class asserted by the plaintiff.

If the court grants the motion, the court may award back pay only for the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the action and may allow the prevailing plaintiff costs and reasonable attorney fees, but may not award compensatory or punitive damages. Information that an employer has not completed an equal-pay analysis may not be used as evidence of a violation of section 652.220.
Or. Rev. Stat. § 652.235.

Updated 11/26/2018

Salary History Inquiry Bans

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to:

  • seek the salary history of an applicant or employee from the applicant or employee or a current or former employer of the applicant or employee before the employer makes an offer of employment to the applicant that includes an amount of compensation;
  • screen job applicants based on current or past compensation; or
  • determine compensation for a position based on an applicant’s current or past compensation.

Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 652.220, 659A.357; Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0005; Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, Technical Assistance for Employers: Oregon Equal Pay Law (September 2017).

“Screen job applicants based on current or past compensation” includes using information, however obtained, about a job applicant’s current or past compensation to determine a job applicant’s suitability or eligibility for employment.
Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0005(2).

An employer may request from a prospective employee written authorization to confirm prior compensation after making an offer of employment to the prospective employee that includes an amount of compensation. Further, the statute does not prevent an employer from considering a current employee’s compensation during a transfer, move or hire of the employee to a new position with the same employer.
Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 652.220, 659A.357; Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0005(5).

The unsolicited disclosure of a job applicant’s current or past compensation by a job applicant, employee or a current or former employer of the applicant or employee that is not considered by an employer does not constitute a violation of the statute.
Or. Admin. R. 839-008-0005(3).

Updated 11/26/2018

Pennsylvania

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Pennsylvania Equal Pay Law prohibits employers from discriminating within any establishment between employees 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, the performance of which, requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 336.3.

Salary History Restrictions

Pennsylvania

No statewide provision.

Philadelphia
(Note: The salary history prohibition provisions have been stayed pending a court challenge.)

The Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, employment agency, or employer’s agent to:

  • include a question on a paper or electronic job application asking a prospective employee to provide his or her wage history at any previous position;
  • inquire about a prospective employee's wage history,
  • require disclosure of wage history, or condition employment or consideration for an interview or employment on disclosure of wage history;
  • retaliate against a prospective employee for failing to comply with any wage history inquiry; or
  • rely on a prospective employee's wage history from the his or her current or former employer in determining the wages for the prospective employee at any stage in the employment process, including the negotiation or drafting of any employment contract, unless the prospective employee knowingly and willingly disclosed his or her wage history to the employer.

"Employer" means an employer doing business in the city of Philadelphia with 1 or more employees and that engages in the process of interviewing a prospective employee with the intention of considering the prospective employee for a position located within the city. “Inquire” means to ask a job applicant in writing or otherwise. "Knowingly and willingly" means the prospective employee has disclosed his or her wage history voluntarily, not in response to a question from an interviewer, and knows or has been informed that the employer may use the disclosure to determine the compensation to offer.

The salary history restrictions also apply in the context of an individual seeking a new position with his or her current employer. The current employer, in considering the individual for a new position, cannot inquire into the individual's wage history from any previous employer.

An employer may ask a prospective employee questions relevant to setting future compensation, such as the prospective employee's salary expectations, skill level, and experience relative to the position for which he or she is being considered. In addition, the prohibition does not apply to actions taken by an employer pursuant to any federal, state or local law that specifically authorizes the disclosure or verification of wage history for employment purposes.
Philadelphia, Pa. Code § 9-1131; Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Regulation No. 7.

Updated 10/25/2017

Puerto Rico

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

No employer shall discriminate in the payment of wages on grounds of sex against employees who work in Puerto Rico and perform comparable work that has equal functions which, requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

The statute does not prohibit wage differentials when the payment is made pursuant to any of the following:

  • a bona fide seniority or merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
  • due to education, training or experience, insofar as these factors are reasonably related to the specific work in question; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage of any employee in order to comply with the statute.
Puerto Rico Act No. 16 of March 8, 2017, 29 L.P.R.A. §§251 et seq.

Salary History Inquiry Ban

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to:

  • ask or inquire an applicant for employment or the current or previous employer, about the current salary or salary history of said applicant;
  • that an employer requires, as a condition of employment or as a condition of permanence in employment, that an employee or applicant refrain from asking to discuss or disclose information about his salary, or the salary of another employee who performs comparable work; or
  • dismiss, threaten, discriminate or in any other way retaliate against an employee in relation to the terms, conditions, compensation, location, benefits or privileges of the employment because the employee has: (i) disclosed his salary or asked about or discussed the salary of other employees; (ii) presented an objection to any act or practice declared illegal by this Act; (iii) filed a complaint or claim under this Act before any forum; u (iv) offered or attempted to offer, verbally or in writing, any testimony, expression or information as part of an investigation against the employer for violations of the provisions of this Act.

Puerto Rico Act No. 16 of March 8, 2017, 29 L.P.R.A. §§251 et seq.

Rhode Island

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

An employer is prohibited from discriminating in the payment of wages as between the sexes or from paying a female employee a salary or wage rate less than the rate paid to male employees for equal work or work on the same operations. The statute does not prohibit a variation in rates of pay based upon either difference in:

  • seniority, experience, training, skill, or ability;
  • duties and services performed, either regularly or occasionally;
  • the shift or time of day worked; or
  • availability for other operations or any other reasonable differentiation except difference in sex.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-6-18.

South Carolina

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The South Carolina Human Affairs Law makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers of 15 or more employees to discriminate against an individual with respect to the individual's compensation on the basis of a protected classification.

It is not an unlawful employment practice for an employer to apply different standards of compensation or different terms, conditions, or privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system or a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or to employees who work in different locations, if the differences are not the result of an intention to discriminate on the basis of a protected classification.
S.C. Code Ann. § 1-13-80.

The city of Columbia, South Carolina prohibits employers of five or more employees from asking about an applicant’s wage history. Specifically, the law states that job applications cannot inquire into an applicant’s wage history.
Columbia, S.C. Code of Ordinances §§ 2-352, 2-354(c).

South Dakota

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers are prohibited from discriminating 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, but not to physical strength.
S.D. Codified Laws § 60-12-15.

The prohibition does not apply to differentials paid pursuant to established seniority systems, job descriptive systems, merit increase systems, or executive training programs that do not discriminate on the basis of sex.
S.D. Codified Laws § 60-12-16.

Tennessee

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers are prohibited from discriminating 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 on jobs the performance of which require comparable skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.

The statute does not prohibit wage differentials based on a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quality or quantity of production, or any other reasonable differential that is based on a factor other than sex.

An employer paying a wage differential in violation of the statute cannot reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-2-202.

Texas

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The state anti-discrimination statute prohibits employers of 15 or more employees from discriminating against an individual in connection with compensation on the basis of a protected classification.
Tex. Lab. Code Ann. §§ 21.002, 21.051.

An employer does not commit an unlawful employment practice by applying different standards of compensation under:

  • a bona fide seniority system, merit system, or an employee benefit plan, such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, that is not a subterfuge to evade the requirements of the statute; or
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production.

Tex. Lab. Code Ann. § 21.102.

An employer does not commit an unlawful employment practice by applying different standards of compensation to employees who work in different locations so long as the standards are not discriminatory on the basis of a protected classification.
Tex. Lab. Code Ann. § 21.112.

Utah

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Utah Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating in matters of compensation on the basis of a protected classification.
Utah Code Ann. §§ 34A-5-102, 34A-5-106.

“Discriminating in matters of compensation” means paying differing wages or salaries to employees having substantially equal experience, responsibilities, and skill for the particular job.
Utah Code Ann. § 34A-5-106.

The Act does not prohibit:

  • an increase in pay as a result of longevity with the employer, if the salary increase is uniformly applied and available to all employees on a substantially proportional basis; or
  • an agreement between an employer and employee for a rate of pay or work schedule designed to protect the employee from loss of Social Security payment or benefits if the employee is eligible for those payments.

Utah Code Ann. § 34A-5-106.

Vermont

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees of one sex at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for equal work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.

An employer may pay different wage rates under this subsection when the differential wages are made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system in which earnings are based on quantity or quality of production; or
  • a bona fide factor other than sex.

An employer asserting that differential wages are paid pursuant to a bona fide factor other than sex must demonstrate that the factor does not perpetuate a sex-based differential in compensation, is job-related with respect to the position in question, and is based upon a legitimate business consideration.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 495.

Salary History Inquiry Ban

The Vermont Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits an employer from:

  • inquiring about or seeking information regarding a prospective employee’s current or past compensation from either the prospective employee or a current or former employer of the prospective employee;
  • requiring that a prospective employee’s current or past compensation satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; or
  • determining whether to interview a prospective employee based on the prospective employee’s current or past compensation.

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 495m(a).

“Compensation” includes wages, salary, bonuses, benefits, fringe benefits, and equity-based compensation.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 495m(d).

If a prospective employee voluntarily discloses information about his or her current or past compensation, an employer may, after making an offer of employment with compensation to the prospective employee, seek to confirm or request that the prospective employee confirm that information.
Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 495m(b).

The statute does not prevent an employer from:

  • inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary expectations or requirements; or
  • providing information about the wages, benefits, compensation, or salary offered in relation to a position.

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 495m(c).

Updated 05/14/2018

Virginia

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Non-FLSA-covered employers are prohibited from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in the same 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 the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than sex.

Va. Code Ann. § 40.1-28.6.

Washington

Jurisdiction-Specific Pay Equity Laws & Salary History Inquiry Bans

An employer of 1 or more employees is prohibited from discriminating in any way in providing compensation based on gender between similarly employed employees. Employees are "similarly employed" if the individuals work for the same employer, the performance of the job requires similar skill, effort, and responsibility, and the jobs are performed under similar working conditions. Job titles alone are not determinative of whether employees are similarly employed.
Wash. Rev. Code § 49.58.020.

"Compensation" means discretionary and nondiscretionary wages and benefits provided by an employer to an employee as a result of the employment relationship.
Wash. Rev. Code § 49.58.010.

A pay differential is permissible if based in good faith on a bona fide job-related factor or factors that are consistent with business necessity, are not derived from a gender-based differential, and that account for the entire differential. More than one factor may account for the differential. Bona fide factors include, but are not limited to:

  • education, training, or experience;
  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a bona fide regional difference in compensation levels.

Wash. Rev. Code § 49.58.020.

An individual's previous wage or salary history is not a defense under the statute.
Wash. Rev. Code § 49.58.020.

An employer is further prohibited from, on the basis of gender, limiting or depriving an employee of career advancement opportunities that would otherwise be available. A differential in career advancement based on a bona fide job-related factor or factors that meet the criteria specified above does not constitute discrimination.
Wash. Rev. Code § 49.58.030.

Updated 03/23/2018

Salary History Inquiry Bans

Effective July 28, 2019

An employer may not seek an applicant's wage or salary history from the applicant or a current or former employer or require that an applicant's prior wage or salary history meet certain criteria, except as provided under the statute.

An employer may confirm an applicant's wage or salary history:

  • if the applicant has voluntarily disclosed the applicant's wage or salary history; or
  • after the employer has negotiated and made an offer of employment with compensation to the applicant.

Upon an applicant's request and after the employer has initially offered the applicant the position, an employer of 15 or more employees must provide the minimum wage or salary for the position for which the applicant is applying. Likewise, upon request of an employee who has been offered a promotion or an internal transfer to a new position, such employers must provide the wage scale or salary range for the employee's new position. If no wage scale or salary range exists, the employer must provide the minimum wage or salary expectation set by the employer prior to posting the position, making a position transfer, or making the promotion.

Washington HB 1696 (2019).

Updated 05/13/2019

West Virginia

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers are prohibited from:

  • discriminating in any manner between the sexes in the payment of wages for work of comparable character, the performance of which requires comparable skills; and
  • paying wages to any employee at a rate less than that at which the employer pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for work of comparable character, the performance of which requires comparable skills.

The prohibition does not apply where:

  • payment is made pursuant to a seniority or merit system that does not discriminate on the basis of sex; and
  • a differential in wages between employees is based in good faith on factors other than sex.

An employer cannot reduce an employee’s wages in order to eliminate an existing, past or future wage discrimination or to effectuate wage equalization.

Note: The statute does not apply to employers whose operations are subject to any federal law relating to equal wages for equal work, regardless of sex.
W. Va. Code §§ 21-5B-1, 21-5B-3.

Wisconsin

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against any individual in compensation paid for equal or substantially similar work on the basis of sex where sex is not a bona fide occupational qualification.

Sex is a bona fide occupational qualification if all of the members of one sex are physically incapable of performing the essential duties required by a job, or if the essence of the employer's business operation would be undermined if employees were not hired exclusively from one sex.
Wis. Stat. § 111.36.

Wyoming

Standard Pay Discrimination Laws

Employers are prohibited from discriminating between employees in the same establishment 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 on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort and responsibility and which are performed under similar working conditions.

The prohibition does not apply where payment is made pursuant to:

  • a seniority system;
  • a merit system;
  • a system that measures earning by quantity or quality of production; or
  • a differential based on any other factor other than gender.

Wyo. Stat. § 27-4-302.

Compliance with intersecting equal pay laws can be daunting, placing a huge burden on corporate counsel and HR departments. In a privileged context, Littler can assist employers with the steps crucial to defensible audit and proactively tackle this issue by combining our deep experience in employment law, compensation, and the application of data science, econometrics and statistics to the law, with proprietary technology.

Learn More About Littler Pay Equity Compliance

The materials available on this page are for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Use of and access to this page does not create an attorney-client relationship between Littler Mendelson and you. The materials available on this page are not a substitute for experienced legal counsel and you should consult your Littler attorney if you have questions about a particular fact pattern or situation. This area of the law is rapidly developing, and while we make efforts to update this page as the law changes, we cannot guarantee that the content is current for all jurisdictions.