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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2020 03:06 PM
From: Senator Christine M. Tartaglione
To: All Senate members
Subject: Wage Equity
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate based on rate of pay. This bill was SB 504 in the 2019-20 session. Members who co-sponsored this legislation previously include Senators Fontana, Farnese, Leach, Collett, Santarsiero, Kearney, Yudichak, Hughes, Brewster, Costa, Street, Iovino, Haywood and A. Williams.

Women in Pennsylvania, and in the United States in general, have long endured unequal pay in the workplace. According to The Institute for Women’s Policy and Research, American women earned $0.82 for every $1.00 that a male colleague earned in 2019, a number unchanged from 2018. While this is a travesty, it has a simple solution. This legislation would correct this disparity and effectively make it an illicit practice to discriminate against employees based on wages.

This bill clarifies the definition of “wages” and other compensation and defines “comparable work” as work that requires similar skill, effort and responsibility. This bill also clarifies the circumstances under which employers can legitimately pay employees at different pay scales. Employers must demonstrate that the difference in any employee’s pay is based on one or more of the following factors:
  • A seniority-based system;
  • A merit-based system;
  • A system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or sales;
  • Education, training, or experience.
The United States of America can only be a truly inclusive and equal society if it is free of all forms of discrimination. This includes unfair hiring practices. Establishing fair pay equity in Pennsylvania is one step toward realizing this ideal.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB186