New Ban Keeps Employers From Requesting Salary History in Philadelphia

The city of Philadelphia has recently released a new ban that would prevent potential employers from requesting the salary history of someone who is applying for a position with those employers. In the past, potential employers could ask job applicants to provide details of their salary history to get an idea of what they were getting paid beforehand. The purpose of this band is to ensure that employees are receiving the money they deserve while filling in the pay gap that exists between women and men and people of different races.

Back in 2017, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the city while stating that the city was taking away the employers’ freedom of speech by preventing them from being able to ask such questions while screening job applicants. Despite the lawsuit, the city moved forward with the ban, causing the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to take a loss.

The decision overrules a decision that was made in May of 2018 by United States District Judge, Mitchell Goldberg. Goldberg felt the initial ruling was a start to help fill in that wage gap that exists between people of different genders and races who are essentially doing the same jobs, but he also felt that it was in violation of the First Amendment, which gives employers the right to say what they want and ask any questions they want to ask.

Goldberg did not feel there was nearly enough evidence to believe that asking a question about a person’s salary history would cause them to get paid less than their male counterparts or their peers of a different race. He felt that collecting information on the salaries of different applicants was used solely for market information and not for discrimination purposes. However, others agree that if they were already receiving less than they deserved at their old workplaces, it would be a lot easier for new employers to do the same thing. The employers would get information on the salaries that these employees were earning before applying for the new position and could then decide to pay the same amount or slightly more than what they were earning before, even if they were initially going to pay much more.

Judge Theodore A. McKee disagreed with Judge Mitchell Goldberg. McKee believes the city should not have to provide proof of potential discrimination associated with salary history requests. He also stated that evidence proves preventing employers from requesting salary history from job applicants can help improve pay gaps while providing fair opportunities for applicants, regardless of their gender or race.

McKee mentioned the 2015 census that shows women were only earning 79 cents for every dollar a man was earning in the state of Pennsylvania. The amount was even lower for women of color. He has stated that the law is now in full effect and should be followed by employers when screening job applicants for available positions. Some may not agree with the ban, but most people see it as a victory and a fantastic way to fill in the pay gap that does exist in Philadelphia.

Contact a Philadelphia Civil Rights Lawyer to Discuss Your Pennsylvania Case

If you believe you have a civil rights case, the attorneys at the Marrone Law Firm, LLC can help. Whether you’re facing workplace discrimination, first amendment violations or something else, the bottom line is that you have basic human rights that deserve to be protected. Call the Marrone Law Firm, LLC at 215-709-7360 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free civil rights consultation. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey are ready to advocate for your rights. Our main office is located at 200 South Broad Street, Suite 400 in Philadelphia, and we also have offices in Cherry Hill.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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