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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!

Highlights

Fact Sheet | Equal Pay for African American Women

July 22, 2015

African American women who work full-time, year round are paid just 64 cents for every dollar a White, non-Hispanic male makes. This wage gap knows no bounds—African American women make less than white, non-Hispanic men even when you control for factors such as their education level, age, or occupation. This fact sheet explains it all.

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Fact Sheet | Long Overdue: Equal Pay for Maryland's Women & Families

April 14, 2015

Pay discrimination remains a persistent problem in the workforce. In Maryland, on average, women working full-time, year-round typically earn about 85.5 cents for every dollar earned by men. Asian American women in Maryland earn only 84.2 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men, and the situation is even worse for African American women (69.7 cents) and Latinas (46.6 cents). SB 424 and HB 1051, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, along with SB 425, the Wage Disclosure 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.

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Fact Sheet | How the Wage Gap Hurts Women and Families

July 8, 2015

Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. This gap in earnings translates into $10,876 less per year in median earnings, leaving women and their families shortchanged. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and civil rights laws has helped narrow the wage gap over time, addressing the significant pay disparities that remain is critical for women and their families.

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

April 9, 2015
Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. But the wage gap is even larger for many women of color working full time, year round, as African American women are paid only 64 cents, and Latinas only 56 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. These gaps translated into a loss of $19,399 for African American women and $23,279 for Latinas in 2013. Closing the wage gap is, therefore, particularly important for African American women and Latinas, who are already more likely to have lower incomes and to be in poverty than virtually all other groups. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and other civil rights laws has helped narrow the wage gap over time, addressing the significant disparity that remains is critical for women and their families.
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More Resources

Fact Sheet | The Wage Gap by State for Women Overall, African-American Women, and Hispanic Women

April 07, 2014

Fact Sheet | The Paycheck Fairness Act: Why Women Need Stronger Protections Against Pay Discrimination

April 02, 2014

Issue Briefs | Women are 76 percent of workers in the 10 largest low-wage jobs and suffer a 10 percent wage gap

April 02, 2014

Fact Sheet | The Lilly Ledbetter Act Five Years Later - A Law That Works

January 29, 2014

Fact Sheet | The Wage Gap By State for Women Overall

November 27, 2013