Pay Equity Laws

 

What is pay equity?

Pay equity is a means of eliminating gender and ethnic discrimination in the wage-setting system. In this context, the criteria which employers use to determine wages must be gender- and ethnicity-neutral.

What is pay equity legislation?

The overarching purpose of pay equity legislation is to prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of gender or ethnicity in the payment of wages. To assist candidates and clients alike throughout the hiring process, Charles Aris Inc.’s Pay Equity Laws webpage contains relevant information associated with pay equity legislation enacted around the United States. Our Pay Equity Laws webpage, which we’ll update whenever new legislation is passed, features:

  • Bill name
  • Effective start date
  • Violations and penalties
  • Exceptions related to voluntary disclosure and interview guidelines

States & U.S. Territories

* Locations listed in red have current or pending pay equity legislation and thus appear in the table below

Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Marianas Islands
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

California

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: AB 168

Effective: 1/1/2018

Violations: Seek a candidate’s salary history including compensation and benefits

Penalties: Salary inquiries – unpaid wages and interest, plus an equal amount as liquidated damages and attorney fees.

Voluntary Disclosure: This is not presently addressed.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

Location: San Francisco

Bill: No. 170350

Effective: 7/1/2018

Violations: Seek pay history of a candidate. Pay history does not include revenue, sales or other production reports.

Penalties: Warning and notice to correct for first violation; $100 for second violation; up to $200 for third violation; up to $500 for each subsequent violation; legal and equitable relief.

Voluntary Disclosure: Employers may rely on information gathered via voluntary disclosure. This is not a violation.

Interview Guidelines: Employers may engage candidates in discussions about salary, benefits and other compensation expectations without violating the law.

Connecticut

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: Public Act No. 18-8

Effective: 01/01/2019

Violations: Inquire or direct a third party to inquire about an applicant’s compensation history

Penalties: Compensatory damages; attorney’s fees; costs; punitive damages

Voluntary Disclosure: Not a violation

Interview Guidelines: Employer may inquire about compensation structure but not the value of compensation elements

Delaware

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: HB 1

Effective: 12/14/2017

Violations: Seek pay history of a candidate from applicant or former or current employer, including benefits and other compensation.

Penalties: Salary inquiries – civil penalty from $1,000 to $5,000 for first offense; $5,000 to $10,000 for each additional violation.

Voluntary Disclosure: Employers may not rely on information, even if it is voluntarily disclosed, until employment offers have been made and accepted.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

Hawaii

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: 2017 SB No. 2351

Effective: 01/01/2019

Violations: Inquire about compensation history; rely on compensation history in negotiation of employment contract unless applicant voluntarily discloses compensation history; retaliate

Penalties: Injunction; back pay; costs and attorney fees

Voluntary Disclosure: Not a violation

Interview Guidelines: Not presently addressed

Louisiana

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: New Orleans

Bill: MJL17-01

Effective: 1/25/2017

Violations: Seek pay history of candidates; or question candidates about salary history during the application process

Penalties: There are no penalties at this time.

Voluntary Disclosure: This is not presently addressed.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

Massachusetts

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: 2017 Chapter 177

Effective: 7/1/2018

Violations: Seek a candidate’s salary history; condition an interview or consideration of an offer on the disclosure of salary history

Penalties: Salary inquiries and unfair pay – unpaid wages and interest, plus an equal amount of those wages and interest as liquidated damages; attorney fees.

Voluntary Disclosure: This is not presently addressed.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

New York

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Albany

Bill: Local Law No. P for 2016

Effective: 12/17/2017

Violations: Employers of at least four employees may not seek pay history of a candidate from any current or former employer.

Penalties: Compensatory damages, reinstatement (with or without back pay) and oversight by Albany Commission on Human Rights. Potential private right of action.

Voluntary Disclosure: This is not presently addressed.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

Location: New York City

Bill: Intro. 1253

Effective: 10/31/2017

Violations: Seek pay history of a candidate, including wages, benefits and other compensation; search for publicly available records to obtain compensation history; or rely on salary history during any stage of the hiring process unless disclosed willingly

Penalties: Salary inquiries – up to $125,000 for civil penalties; up to $250,000 for “intentional malicious violations”.

Voluntary Disclosure: Employers may rely on information gathered through voluntary disclosure. This is not a violation.

Interview Guidelines: Employers may engage candidates in discussions about salary, benefits and other compensation expectations without violating the law.

Location: Westchester County, New York

Bill: Wage History Anti-Discrimination Law

Effective: 7/9/2018

Violations: Employers of at least four employees may not seek pay history of a candidate from any current or former employer.

Penalties: Reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages, costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, punitive damages, oversight by Westchester County Human Rights Commission. Potential private right of action.

Voluntary Disclosure: Not a violation to rely on a voluntary disclosure to set compensation.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

Oregon

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: HB 2005

Effective: 10/6/2017

Violations: Seek pay history of a candidate from applicant or former or current employer; or screen compensation history of an applicant and determine salary offer based on compensation history

Penalties: Salary inquiries and unfair pay – punitive damages and attorney’s fees

Voluntary Disclosure: Employers may rely on salary information gathered through voluntary disclosure but cannot pressure candidates for it.

Interview Guidelines: (not addressed)

Pennsylvania

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Philadelphia

Bill: No. 160840

Effective: 5/23/2017

Violations: Seek pay history of a candidate, including earnings, commissions and fringe benefits; set an interview to contract candidate’s nondisclosure of salary history; or rely on salary history during any stage of the hiring process unless disclosed willingly

Penalties: Salary inquiries – Civil penalties up to $2,000 incurred for each violation. Repeated violations will lead to imprisonment for 90 days.

Voluntary Disclosure: Employers may rely on information gathered via voluntary disclosure. This is not a violation.

Interview Guidelines: Employers may engage candidates in discussions about salary, benefits and other compensation expectations without violating the law.

Puerto Rico

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Territorywide

Bill: Act No. 16

Effective: 3/8/2017

Violations: Seek pay history of candidates; or prevent employers from prohibiting discussions about salaries among employees or applicants with certain exceptions for human resources, managerial, and supervisory personnel

Penalties: Salary inquiries – Companies which retaliate against employees who address pay inequality will face double damages. Penalties will not take effect until March 8, 2018.

Voluntary Disclosure: Employers may rely on information gathered through voluntary disclosure. It is not a violation if a salary was already negotiated with a candidate and an offer letter was set.

Interview Guidelines: Employers may engage candidates in discussions about salary expectations without violating the law.

Vermont

Location

Bill

Effective

Violations

Penalties

Voluntary Disclosure

Interview Guidelines

Location: Statewide

Bill: H.294
Effective: 07/01/2018
Violations: Inquire about or seek information regarding an applicant’s compensation history from the applicant or that applicant’s employer(s); require that an applicant’s past compensation satisfy certain criteria; rely on applicant’s compensation history for interviewing
Penalties: Injunction; civil penalty up to $10,000 per violation; back pay; costs; compensatory damages; punitive damages; reinstatement; attorney fees
Voluntary Disclosure: Not a violation
Interview Guidelines: Employers may confirm compensation history after an offer has been extended with terms of compensation

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