55th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963

Today is the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to prohibit pay discrimination on the basis of sex.

Fifty-five years later, women still do not receive equal pay. In 2017, women on average were paid 80 cents of what men were paid, and the wage gap for women of color is even wider. Combined, California women who work full time lose a total of more than $78.6 billion every year due to the wage gap.

The California Women’s Law Center is committed to closing the gender wage gap and fighting for pay parity. In 2015, CWLC worked with the Equal Pay Today campaign to help pass California’s Fair Pay Act, which requires equal pay for substantially similar work. The law prevents employers from justifying discrimination based on a job title alone.

In 2016 and 2017, California enacted additional protections clarifying that prior salary cannot be used as a justification for a difference in pay and banned employers from asking about salary history in job interviews or applications. These protections recognize that historical salary discrimination is a significant factor in the persistence of the wage gap.

CWLC remains dedicated to the fight to end practices contributing to the gender wage gap. Together, we will continue to close the wage gap and strengthen women’s lives.