It has been 60 years since the Equal Pay Act was passed, and since then, women have made tremendous strides in the labor force. However, women continue to be paid less than their male counterparts in every single state. The wage gap hits women of color the hardest—compared to what white, non-Hispanic men working full time, year-round make, the lifetime wage gap would amount to more than $1 million for Asian women in two states, for Black women in 19 states, for Latinas in 31 states, for Native women in 20 states, and for Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander women in 6 states.

A robust movement to close gender wage gaps has been sweeping across the country, including an increasing focus on requiring employers to be transparent about pay. In the past few years, lawmakers have introduced equal pay legislation in over two-thirds of states and many of these bills have become law. State efforts to close the wage gap not only make meaningful changes for women’s and families’ economic security, but they also lift states’ economies. Unfortunately, in 2022, we also saw one of the first state bills actively attacking equal pay pass in Mississippi, and advocates should be on the lookout for similar harmful efforts in their state.

This fact sheet highlights states that passed equal pay legislation in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.