In an effort to close the wage gap between men and women, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney recently signed a bill preventing employers from asking applicants about their salary history. The Wage Equity Bill makes Philadelphia the first major American city to ban employers from asking candidates what they were paid at previous jobs. Companies in violation of the new ordinance face fines of up to $2,000.
The bill, first introduced in September 2016, is designed to eliminate the income disparity between men and women. According to a 2015 United States Census Bureau report, women make 79 cents for every dollar that men make. This discrepancy exists regardless of experience, education, or industry. The Pew Research Center also reports that as of 2015, women earn 83% of men’s hourly wages.
The rationale behind the bill is that if women are paid less than what they deserve at beginning of their careers, and potential employers base their salary on previous jobs, they will never catch up to their male counterparts. Though similar legislation already exists in Massachusetts, Philadelphia is the first major city to ban salary inquiries. New York State and Pennsylvania are also considering passing wage equity bills.
The City Council passed the bill with a unanimous vote, but it is already experiencing some pushback from one of the city’s largest employers – Comcast. The media giant, with headquarters in Center City Philadelphia, has already vowed to challenge the ban in court on grounds that it violates employers’ free speech. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce also opposes the bill, saying it gives the perception that the city is “anti-business,” and discourages new employers from setting up shop in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Clients in Wage Disputes
The team of Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green understands the complexities of employment law matters. Our attorneys represent employees in all aspects of employment law, including wage disputes. Call our Center City Philadelphia offices today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
We serve clients throughout the Greater Philadelphia area including Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and the towns of Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Wynnewood, Darby, Narberth, Upper Darby, Sharon Hill, Cheltenham, Clifton Heights, Folcroft, Lansdowne, Drexel Hill, Elkins Park, Havertown, Glenolden, Ardmore, Gladwyne, Wyncote, Norwood, Holmes and Haverford, as well as New Jersey.