In Pennsylvania, I have observed that there are still many heated debates about equal pay for different minority groups across the state. An Act was instated in Pennsylvania known as the Equal Pay Law. The Equal Pay Law is intended to uphold the rights of all parties across the state so that no one group is discriminated against on the basis of his or her minority or condition.
In short, the Equal Pay Law states that discrimination is prohibited by any employer in any place of employment, between employees, on the basis or by paying wages to an employee at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite for work under equal conditions on jobs which require equal skills. This legal talk can get complicated. In general, equal pay means equal pay across the board for all employees that have equal skills. Pay should be commensurate with work and not with any other personal characteristics.
Variations in payment wages is not prohibited when based on a seniority, training or merit increase system. As such, employees must understand that pay is equal to the level of work and experience.
The Secretary of Labor and Industry has the power to oversee and administer the provisions of the act within establishments. The Secretary may also issues rules and regulations that are intended to make the Act effective.
If an employee has been found to have been discriminated against on unequal footing, then the Collection of Unpaid Wages is due in addition to an equal amount of liquidated damages that were suffered by the employee. Reasonable attorneys fees and costs may also be paid on behalf of the employee if the employee is found to have been discriminated against.
It is important for employers to keep records of all wages, job descriptions and wage rates so that the Secretary of Labor and Industry can monitor the employer’s compliance with the Act. It is also mandatory to post the labor laws for all employees to view. The Pennsylvania Complete Labor Law poster is currently available with all of the most up to date labor laws.