Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Career Services

A Guide to Women's Equal Pay Rights


The Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor recently released two guides on Equal Pay, A Guide to Women’s Equal Pay Rights and An Employer’s Guide to Equal Pay. These guides are also published in four additional languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and French, to meet the diverse needs of today’s workforce.

Women forever march / by E. T. Paull., Digital ID g00c143_001, New York Public LibraryA Guide to Women's Equal Pay Rights is designed to help working women understand their rights under certain laws that govern equal pay and compenstion. The following information is excerpted from this guide.

Know Your Rights

Women are legally entitled to equal employment opportunities, including the right to earn a paycheck that is free from unlawful bias, and, in many cases, the right to discuss their pay with colleagues.

What are my equal pay and compensation rights under federal law?

  • Men and women must be paid equal wages if they perform substantially the same work under the Equal Pay Act.
  • Your employer cannot discriminate against you on the basis of your race, color, religion, sex or national origin in any terms or conditions of your employment, including compensation, hours and benefits.
  • If you have received an unfair paycheck within the last 180 days, you can file discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • If you work for a federal contractor, Executive Order (EO) 11246 prohibits your employer from discriminating in employment decisions, including compensation, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • Most private sector employees have the right to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

What can you do if you think you’re experiencing compensation discrimination?

  • Try to resolve the situation informally, such as meeting with your supervisor to discuss your concern.
  • Educate yourself about your rights
  • Ensure that you keep accurate records.
  • Check with your state or local agency that administers state or local anti-discrimination laws.
  • Obtain legal assistance, if necessary.

You can obtain further assistance from the resources below:

For more information on women's equal pay rights, please visit Job Search Central at 188 Madison Avenue and 34th Street.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Post new comment