Status-based theories of labor market inequality contend that, even when workers have identical qualifications and performance, employers evaluate them differently based on stereotypes about their status group. Gender and parenthood are status characteristics that affect decisions about hiring, pay, and promotion through stereotypes that mothers should not work, fathers should not take leave, and caregivers of either gender are less reliable, committed workers. We contend that family-leave laws mitigate these status effects by conveying a consensus that both men and women can legitimately combine work and family. An experiment testing this theory shows that, when the law is not salient, participants pay mothers (whether or not they take leave) and fathers who take leave less and rate them as less promotable than other identical workers. Participants also rate these employees as less competent, committed, and congenial than other identical workers. By contrast, when participants review family-leave laws before they evaluate employees, they treat mothers and caregivers no worse than other workers. Reviewing an organizational family-leave policy did not reduce the effects of stereotypes as much as reviewing formal law. These findings suggest that making law salient during workplace evaluations can reduce inequality through law’s expressive effects.