It is over 50 years since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was enacted, yet black women still earn almost 40% less than white men, and Latina and Native American women earn almost 50% less.iii The average 20% wage gap between men and women working fulltime has persisted despite the fact that women now achieve higher levels of education than men.
Women should no longer be denied equal pay based on rationales such as salary history, which perpetuate systemic discrimination. It is time for salary transparency and corrective action. Employers should be prohibited from relying on prior salaries and required to report pay rates by gender, race, and other key demographic factors to fair employment enforcement agencies. Employees must be protected against retaliation when they share salary information. And when gender inequities are exposed, employers should be required to correct them, not rationalize them.