Equal Pay Rally April 8 in Harrisburg

Advocates will gather to urge action to close state’s gender pay gap

HARRISBURG, April 2 – Equal pay advocates and lawmakers from across the state will rally with state Rep. Brian Sims, D-Phila., at 1:30 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, April 8.

Sims said he's working with organizers of the rally like the Women's Law Project and AAUW-PA to highlight the pay disparities among men and women in the state. Pennsylvania has not updated its Equal Pay Act since 1959 and, on average, Pennsylvania women earn 80% of what men earn in equivalent jobs, with Black women and other women of color facing much wider pay gaps than their white counterparts. Sims said that without a policy fix, Pennsylvania women will not achieve pay equity until 2068.

Sims and Rep. Tina Davis, D-Bucks, are re-introducing legislation that would make long-overdue updates to Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law. The bill would broaden the terms “employee” and “wages” to include more people and wage benefits, protect employees from retaliation when inquiring about wage information and ensure wages are based on bona fide factors. Pennsylvania workers also would have the ability to collect unpaid wages when an employer is found to violate the law.

“When people work hard and follows the rules, come payday, they should be taking home the same amount as their colleagues for doing the same job,” Sims said. “Yet, we all know women across this Commonwealth that aren’t earning equal pay for equal work. In fact, our broken system will often discourage workers from standing up and speaking out, because they need their job to support their children and family. We must act now to ensure women and all Pennsylvanians across all industries, in all jobs, get a fair chance at an equal wage.”

Speakers at the rally will discuss the impact the gender pay gap has on Pennsylvania’s families and economy and the practical actions lawmakers can take in order to achieve pay equity for all people. Expecting to join Sims in speaking at the rally are Davis, Terry Fromson, managing attorney of Women's Law Project, Karen Showalter of Moms Rising, Grace Palladino and Melissa Robbins of Philadelphia NOW, Tina Nixon with the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, Barbara Price, public policy co-chair of AAUW-PA and Reps. Donna Bullock, Maria Donatucci, Christopher Rabb, all D-Phila., and Tarah Toohill, R-Luzerne.

Sims invites interested Pennsylvanians to join in Monday’s rally.