When Hiring For Jobs Located In Philadelphia, Salary History Will Soon Be Off Limits Unless Voluntar

The United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit has issued its decision upholding the Philadelphia Wage Equity Ordinance, one of the so-called “salary history ban” laws.1 Now that the Third Circuit has issued its decision, employers that have not already done so must begin to prepare for compliance.

The Ordinance prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about past wages, with the stated goal of disrupting the flow of information that might otherwise be used to set pay and possibly perpetuate the gender pay gap.2 From conversations with city representatives, we are advised that a new effective date for the Ordinance will be set by the city after consultation with the business community.

Reminder Regarding Key Requirements

The Ordinance was originally passed in 2017, but was stayed pending court challenge. The Ordinance makes it unlawful for an employer or employment agency (or their employees or agents) to do any of the following when hiring for a position located within the City of Philadelphia:

  • Ask in writing or otherwise about a prospective employee’s wage history or include a wage history question in a paper or electronic application;3

  • Require disclosure of wage history to be considered for an interview, to be considered for employment, or as a condition of employment;4

  • Rely on a prospective employee’s wage history in setting wages for such individual at any stage in the employment process, including the negotiation or drafting of any employment contract, unless the prospective employee knowingly and willingly disclosed it;5

  • Retaliate against a prospective employee for failing to comply with any inquiry or other act made unlawful by the Ordinance;6 or

  • Fail to prominently display any fair practices notice issued by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR).7 FULL ARTICLE

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