Equal Opportunity For All
Equal Pay For Equal Work Regardless Of Gender Or Race
Policy Library

Equal Pay for Equal Work with Pay Transparency

The gap between the highest and lowest paid group by gender and race is higher than 50% in many states. One barrier to closing these gaps is the threat of retaliation against workers who discuss pay information. But research shows that encouraging pay transparency and dialogue between workers not only advances equal pay but also improves workplaces. The Pay Transparency Act will ensure that discussing salary information is protected and even encouraged.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine (12), Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania (123), Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia

Introduced in:

Arizona, Florida (12), Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina (12), Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia (123), Wyoming (12)
Even if a state has enacted a policy, there may be aspects to be strengthened. We can help identify ways to improve lives in your state. Please reach out to our State Line: 1-833-STATES-1.

In The News

“Pay transparency — sharing salaries openly across a company — makes for a better workplace for both the employee and for the organization. When people don't know how their pay compares to their peers', they're more likely to feel underpaid and maybe even discriminated against.”
“Pay transparency helps attract a more diverse workforce. People join organizations based on what they do, not what they say. They want to see tangible proof that your company encourages diversity.”
“‘Earning a fair wage often means the difference between raising our families in Hawaii or leaving for the mainland. With this new legislation, Hawaii has taken a positive step to address the wage gap.’”


  • Workers
  • Families
  • Women & women advocates
  • Fair pay advocates


  • Employers that oppose pay transparency
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Who does this help?
Women and people of color are most often subject to pay inequities that this law addresses. Further, by protecting dialogue about pay and salary, it advances all workers. Research shows that younger workers are likely to want to share pay information, and will be protected in doing so under this law.
How does this help businesses?
McKinsey recently found that companies with leadership teams with gender diversity are 21 percent more likely to have above-average financial returns.

Model Policy

This act shall be known as the Pay Transparency Act.

This act protects pay transparency and prevents retaliation for salary inquiries.


(a) It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to:

  • (i) Require as a condition of employment that an employee refrain from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee.

  • (ii) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document which purports to deny an employee the right to disclose or discuss his or her wages.

  • (iii) Discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate against an employee for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee.

(b) Any employee who has been discharged, discriminated or retaliated against, in the terms and conditions of his or her employment because the employee engaged in any conduct delineated in subsection (a) may recover in a civil action reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer, including interest thereon, as well as appropriate equitable relief.

(c) A civil action brought under this provision may be commenced no later than one year after the cause of action occurs.