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The Pennsylvania Equal Pay Law

November 30, 2023 Wage Theft & Unpaid Wages

How It Protects You

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful at the federal level to discriminate based on sex in the workplace, including paying women less than men for the same job. But Pennsylvania also has its own equal pay law.

The Pennsylvania Equal Pay Law (EPL) was passed in 1960, before the federal government passed Title VII. As with Title VII, it is unlawful under this law for employers to pay different wages based on sex as long as the jobs held require similar effort, skill, and responsibility and are performed under similar working conditions. 

While Title VII applies to companies with 15 or more employees, the EPL applies to companies of all sizes except those who are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act at the federal level.

The specifics of the Pennsylvania Equal Pay Law include:

  • Employers can’t reduce the wages of the higher-paid employee to comply with the law.
  • They can’t pay lower wages to workers of a certain sex even if that employee signed a contract accepting the discriminatory pay.
  • Employers have to maintain at least a year’s worth of records detailing employee wages and other important information, and must maintain them for longer if there is any current or pending legal action.
  • Employers must post the employee’s rights under the EPL in a place in the workplace where it can be easily seen.

In Pennsylvania, there are two steps to determining whether wage discrimination based on sex is occurring. First, the plaintiff must demonstrate that their coworkers of the opposite sex are being paid differently for the same job. Once that’s been proven, the burden of proof is on the employer to demonstrate that the difference in pay is not based on sex discrimination, but on a lawful reason, such as seniority or education level.

If the employer is found to have violated the EPL, they may be held liable to pay any affected employees the difference of the wages they are entitled to, as well as liquidated damages in an equal amount and attorneys’ fees. However, employees must bring their case to court within two years of the violation.

Experiencing Workplace Discrimination? Speak to a Pennsylvania Employment Attorney

If you are receiving less pay than workers of the opposite sex for equal work, you should speak to a knowledgeable Pennsylvania employment attorney.

Your attorney can assess the situation, determine whether your employer was in violation of the law, and help you prove your case in court. Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today. 

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.