Philadelphia Employers Barred from Asking Salary History
As most employers know, several jurisdictions have barred employers from asking job applicants about wage and salary history. Philadelphia was among the first to implement such a ban. However, in 2018, a Philadelphia trial court judge held that Philadelphia’s prohibition was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment’s free speech clause. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed the trial court, and Philadelphia employers once again are barred from asking job applicants how much they are paid.
As with other salary history inquiry bans, the Philadelphia ordinance is intended to address pay inequity and is designed to ensure that employees receive salaries that are commensurate with their skills, qualifications, and experience. In response to this development, employers in Philadelphia should take the following steps:
- Revise employment applications to eliminate any questions regarding salary history; and
- Train any employees who recruit, interview and/or hire on behalf of the employer regarding the requirements of the new law.
For employers in New Jersey, keep in mind that a similar salary history inquiry ban went into effect on January 1, 2020, and employers in the Garden State similarly should be taking the above steps.
Employers should consult with experienced human resources professionals and/or labor and employment counsel with any questions regarding salary ban legislation. For MEA members, the Hotline and a Member Legal Services attorney are available to provide this assistance.
Amy McAndrew, Esquire
Director of Member Legal Services
MidAtlantic Employers’ Association
*This Alert is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.