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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 9, 2013 01:34 PM
From: Representative Maria P. Donatucci
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Amending the Equal Pay Law

In honor of National Equal Pay Day, today April 9, 2013, I am circulating my intent to introduce legislation to update the rights and penalties contained in Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law.

The federal Equal Pay Act was enacted in 1963 to ensure equal treatment of women in the workforce. According to the US Department of Labor, at the time the federal law was passed, women earned only 59-cents per each dollar that men earned. Now, in 2013, while women make up a much greater share of the workforce and have taken on many leadership roles, women still earn only about 77-cents per dollar that men earn (and even less in some areas of Pennsylvania).

Like the federal law, Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law prohibits wage discrimination based on gender in the workplace when the work requires equal skill, effort and responsibility. The act also sets forth penalties for violations.

Nonetheless, while Pennsylvania’s law has existed since 1959, its penalties have not since been updated. Accordingly, my legislation would increase fines for employers who are convicted of willfully violating this law or who falsify records or interfere with an investigation under this act from the current amount of $50 to $200 per day of violation to an updated amount of not less than $1,000 nor more than $25,000 per day of violation and per violation.

Additionally, my legislation would increase the time period during which an employee may file a legal action from two years from the date of the violation to three years from the date of the violation. I believe that this change is especially important, as discrimination may not be evident to the affected employee immediately.

I hope that you will join me in sponsoring this legislation. Should you have any questions, please contact my office.

Introduced as HB1250