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Equal Pay and the Wage Gap

For more than four decades, NWLC has worked to close the wage gap and ensure that male and female employees get equal pay and benefits for comparable work. The Center has dramatically changed the workplace for women by successfully pushing for laws that could bring about pay equity for women. But there's still much more to be done. American women who work full-time, year-round are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts — which means it's important to keep pushing for new legislation that would make the workplace fair for women.

One important tool, the Paycheck Fairness Act, is a common-sense bill that would give workers stronger tools to combat wage discrimination, bar retaliation against workers for discussing salary information, and ensure full compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act (EEORA) is another important bill that addresses employment discrimination by removing the barriers that the Supreme Court erected in Wal-Mart v. Dukes to employees' rights to bring class-action suits under antidiscrimination laws. And raising the minimum wage would help close the wage gap, because two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women.

Learn More About Equal Pay and the Wage Gap:

Learn More About the Paycheck Fairness Act:

Learn more about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

Learn More about the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act:

 The Wage Gap, State by State Women are Not WorthLess Video
Families depend on women's wages more than ever. Read our fact sheets on the state-by-state wage gaps. Watch our Women are Not WorthLess video on the wage gap and be sure to share it with your friends!


Fact Sheet | How the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and the Wage Disclosure and Discussion Protection Act Would Strengthen Maryland’s Equal Pay Law

March 4, 2015

Pay discrimination remains a persistent problem in the workforce.  In Maryland, on average, women earn about 85.5 cents for every dollar earned by men.1 African American women in Maryland earn only 69.7 cents for every dollar earned by men, and the gap is even larger for Maryland’s Hispanic women, who earn only 46.6 cents for every dollar earned by men.2 SB 424, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, and SB 425, the Wage Discrimination and Discussion Protection Act, would strengthen Maryland’s equal pay law and provide workers with the tools they need to combat pay discrimination and close the wage gap.


Fact Sheet | NWLC Submits Comments to the Department of Labor Re: Proposed Equal Pay Regulations

January 7, 2015

The National Women's Law Center recently submitted comments to the Department of Labor in strong support of the following proposed regulations:

1. Government Contractors - Requirement to Report Summary Data on Employee Compensation

We strongly support the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) proposal to collect pay data from federal contractors and subcontractors andincorporate it into the agency’s decisions about how to allocate its enforcement resources. The Equal Pay Report will promote the critically important goals of improving enforcement of pay discrimination laws and increasing voluntary employer compliance with those laws. We also wish to make some suggestions for strengthening the proposal to ensure achievement of these goals—by expanding the scope of contractors that must report pay information, ensuring timely and accurate reporting by contractors and subcontractors, and considering relevant information in establishing priorities for enforcement activities. Finally, we share some further thoughts for how OFCCP can promote contractor compliance with pay discrimination prohibitions in its compliance evaluation processes.

2.  Government Contractors - Prohibitions Against Pay Secrecy Policies and Actions

We strongly support the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s (OFCCP) proposed rule implementing Executive Order 13665, which requires that certain federal contractors allow employees and applicants to inquire about, discuss, and disclose compensation information without fear of retribution or penalty. Our comments provide recommendations to ensure its effectiveness. We note that although our comments are primarily focused on how the proposed rule will impact women overall and women of color specifically, the proposed rule is an important step toward narrowing the wage gap for women, workers of color, and all workers.


Fact Sheet | Equal Pay for Latinas

October 7, 2014

Women overall working full time, year round in the United States are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. But the wage gap is even larger for Latinas who work full time, year round—they are paid only 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. This gap, which amounts to a loss of $23,279 a year, means that Latinas have to work more than 21 months—past the beginning of October—to make as much as white, non-Hispanic men did last year alone.


Fact Sheet | The Wage Gap is Stagnant for Nearly a Decade

October 1, 2014

New data from 2013 show that the typical woman still earns only 78 cents for each dollar the typical man earns.  Learn more about the numbers in this fact sheet.


More Resources

Fact Sheet | The Wage Gap By State for Women Overall

November 27, 2013

Fact Sheet | Wage Gap: State Rankings 2012

November 14, 2013

Fact Sheet | Closing the Wage Gap is Crucial for Women of Color and Their Families

November 13, 2013

Fact Sheet | The Wage Gap is Stagnant in the Last Decade

September 18, 2013

Fact Sheet | The Importance of Fair Pay for Delaware Women

June 27, 2013