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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2017 09:57 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pay Equity
In the near future, I will again introduce legislation that will amend Act 694 of 1959, known as the Equal Pay Law.

Despite recent successes in establishing equality in the workplace, working women still face a significant gender wage gap. In Pennsylvania, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. This adds up to a yearly gap of $10,591 between men and women who work full time. With over 500,000 households in the Commonwealth headed by women, the economic security of these women, and the children who depend on them, are at risk.

This bill will strengthen Pennsylvania law to eliminate the gender wage gap by increasing the protection to employees who have filed a complaint against an employer and prohibiting retaliation against employees for discussing wages (“pay secrecy”).

In addition, this legislation will close the “factor other than sex” defense to apply only to bona fide business related factors. Bona fide factors other than sex include education, training, or experience. In order to file a complaint, a plaintiff must still identify a comparable employee who makes more money for performing equal work, requiring effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions.

This legislation was introduced during the 2014-15 legislative session as SB 303 and was co-sponsored by Senators Teplitz, Leach, Boscola, Tartaglione, Schwank, McIlhinney, Blake, Haywood, Yudichak, Brewster, Costa, Farnese, Smith, Fontana, Hughes, and Killion.

I ask you to join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB578