Philadelphia now has one more thing that sets it apart. On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia became the first city in the United States to prohibit private employers from asking about a prospective employee’s salary history. Lawmakers say that the law might help women earn a fair wage in the city.
Even if a business finds information about a perspective employee’s salary history on their own, they’re not allowed to use the information without the person’s permission. They also can’t ask applicants to volunteer information about their salary history or even require it as a condition of employment. Violators can receive fines of up to $2,000.
Not everyone loves the changes, and the city has to fend off legal challenges to the law. Employers say that it’s unfair to apply the language to anyone who does business in the city even if they’re headquartered in another location. They also say the law violates constitutional protections for freedom of speech. Critics also say that employers have other ways to size up their candidates such as reviewing a candidate’s residential history in order to estimate their income.
Follow Karl Heideck on Instagram.
The law is on hold for now until the courts sort out the legal challenges. The Chamber of Commerce filed a court action to stop the law. The city responded by saying that there’s no proof that the measure is going to hurt business. They challenged the Chamber of Commerce to identify any business that actually relies on the salary information in their hiring practices.
Karl Heideck is a Philadelphia attorney that specializes in employer services including compliance and risk management. His popular legal blog provides legal assistance and information to people in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Karl Heideck helps both individuals and companies understand Pennsylvania and local law and apply it in the best possible ways given their unique circumstance.
Heideck holds a law degree from Temple University. He completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College. His previous work experience includes time at Pepper Hamilton LLP and Conrad O’Brien. Heideck works from his main offices in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania to serve the legal needs of Pennsylvanians throughout the state.