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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 3, 2015 12:42 PM
From: Representative Maria P. Donatucci
To: All House members
Subject: Reintroduction of Legislation Amending the Equal Pay Law
I am circulating my intent to introduce legislation to update the rights and penalties contained in Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law.

Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law was enacted in 1959 to end workplace discrimination based on gender when the work requires equal skill, effort and responsibility. According to the US Department of Labor, at the time this and similar laws were passed nationally, women earned only 59-cents per each dollar that men earned. Now, while women make up a much greater share of the workforce and have taken on many leadership roles, women still earn only about 78-cents per dollar that men earn (and even less in some areas of Pennsylvania).

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s law has not been updated in nearly 50 years, and the penalties have not been changed since its passage. Accordingly, my legislation would increase fines for employers who are convicted of willfully violating this law, falsifying records, or interfering 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 $2,500 nor more than $5,000 per day of violation and per violation. Secondly, 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. Lastly, my legislation will ensure that all employees can seek recourse under the act.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this important legislation. Previous co-sponsors: Bishop, Boback, V. Brown, Brownlee, Caltagirone, Cohen, M. Daley, Davis, Davidson, Dean, Frankel, Gingrich, Grove, Hanna, Helm, Kinsey, Kotik, Mullery, O'Brien, Roebuck, Rozzi, Schlossberg, Sims, Snyder, Thomas, Toohil, Watson, and Youngblood.

Introduced as HB1250