Democratic State Senators Steve Santarsiero (Bucks County) and Maria Collett (Montgomery County) introduced legislation Monday to update Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law in advance of Equal Pay Day on March 14.
“In the five years since Senator Santarsiero and I first introduced this bill, neither it nor women’s wages have moved,” said Senator Collett. “Pennsylvania women still earn even less on the dollar than women in other states. The disparity is even more pronounced for women of color. Closing the pay gap is good for our workers, good for our economy, and good for our families.”
The co-sponsorship memo for Senate Bill 421 serves to highlight the disparity between the pay of men and women in the state. On average, women earn 79 cents to the dollar paid to their male counterparts that equates to a disparity of approximately $10,000 a year.
“It is inconceivable that in 2023, women in Pennsylvania still earn less than their male colleagues for the same work,” said Senator Santarsiero. “This is not only about fairness. It is an important economic issue. Ensuring women receive fair and equal pay will reinvigorate Pennsylvania’s economy and lift women and children out of poverty.”
Provisions within the legislation would broaden the scope of current law to include more workers and fringe benefits; protect employees from retaliatory consequences when inquiring about wage information; and also provide for the ability to collect unpaid wages should an employer violate the law.