About The Pay Equity Project

In the United States, full-time women workers still earn a median of only 80 cents for every dollar men earn.  The numbers are even worse for women of color.  For example, Hispanic women earn a median of only 55 cents for every dollar white men earn, and Black women earn a median of only 63 cents.  The Pay Equity Project at UCI Law works to reduce the gender and race pay gap through education, advocacy, and collaborations with other stakeholders fighting for pay equity.

The Pay Equity Project’s Fifty-State Pay Equity Law Chart - A Resource In the Fight for Pay Equity

While the federal Paycheck Fairness Act has been introduced in Congress numerous times without success since 1997, many states have stepped up to enact more expansive pay equity laws in recent years. And momentum on the state law front continues, with additional pay equity laws working their way through state legislatures. 

State pay equity statutes often provide women workers with protections beyond those in Federal laws such as Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. For example, some state laws require equal pay for “substantially similar” work rather than for the narrower “equal work” set out in federal law.  Some state laws also protect workers from pay discrimination based on race, in addition to sex. Others narrow the scope of the “factor other than sex defense” that has led to the defeat of so many federal pay equity lawsuits, or even remove the defense altogether. And numerous states have banned the use of prior salary in setting new salary, recognizing that failing to do so reinforces prior pay discrimination. There are a variety of other state pay equity provisions that expand protections for workers as well. 

The Pay Equity Project has created a Fifty-State Pay Equity Law Chart, linked here, as a research tool. The Chart summarizes existing state pay equity laws (as of September 30, 2021). It also contains links to these state laws, so that workers and advocates with limited resources can access the laws directly themselves, for free.  The Pay Equity Project is committed to research and advocacy that helps reduce the persistent gender and race pay gap.  We hope that the Fifty-State Pay Equity Law Chart will serve as a helpful resource in the fight for pay equity.

Trilby Robinson-Dorn
Director and Founder, The Pay Equity Project

trilby robinson-dorn headshot

Activities

December 9, 2021: Professor Trilby Robinson-Dorn, Director of The Pay Equity Project, moderates a discussion of Pay Equity Audits hosted by Equal Pay Today, the Equal Pay Today Litigation and Research Committees, and The Institute for Women’s Policy Research

September 30, 2021: The Pay Equity Project releases its 50-State Pay Equity Law Chart

November 17, 2020: Professor Robinson-Dorn facilitates Equal Pay Today Litigation and Enforcement Committee Litigator Network Conversation

Contact

Trilby Robinson-Dorn
Director, The Pay Equity Project
Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Lawyering Skills
trobinsondorn@law.uci.edu
(949) 824-9638