Pay range transparency—when employers provide salary information to job applicants and/or employees —helps ensure women have the information they need to decide what jobs to apply for and negotiate their pay. Research consistently links pay range transparency to narrowed gender wage gaps. Eight states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington—have already passed pay range transparency laws. Another 16 states and the District of Columbia have been considering pay range transparency bills this year.
Millions of workers are already benefiting from laws ensuring pay range transparency
Nearly 44.8 million people in the labor force, or 26.6% of the U.S. labor force, are covered by the eight new state pay range transparency laws. The labor force includes people ages 16 and older who are working or looking for work, many of whom are applying for jobs and able to actively benefit from pay range transparency laws in their job search. Nearly 21 million of the people in the labor force in these states are women, meaning 26.4% of women in the entire U.S. labor force are covered by the eight new state pay range transparency laws. This includes over 9.9 million white, non-Hispanic women, over 5.4 million Latinas, over 2.5 million Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women, over 2.1 million Black women, and over 200,000 Native women. It also includes nearly 6.5 million mothers, over 2.2 million single mothers, over 1.5 million women in poverty, and over 13,000 women with disabilities.
Many more could soon be benefiting from pay range transparency laws
An additional 16 states and D.C. have considered pay range transparency laws in the 2023 state legislative session: Alaska, D.C., Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If these bills were to become laws, nearly 38.8 million additional people or an additional 23% of the U.S. labor force, would benefit. Nearly 18.5 million of these people are women, including over 11.7 million white, non-Hispanic women, over 2.6 million Black women, nearly 2 million Latinas, nearly 1.2 million Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women, and over 120,000 Native women. They also include over 6 million mothers, over 2 million single mothers, over 1.4 million women in poverty, and nearly 12,000 women with disabilities. With the addition of these women, 49.7% of women in the U.S. labor force would be covered by state pay range transparency laws.
Women can’t wait
Pay range transparency laws can be a meaningful step toward dismantling the racist and sexist wage gaps that rob women of their livelihoods. Many women are already reaping the benefits of a level negotiating playing field and the ability to detect and remedy unjustified pay disparities. If these bills become law, nearly half (49.7%) of the U.S. labor force would benefit from pay range transparency, including nearly 39.5 million women.