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Philadelphia Ban on Salary History Questions

January 20th, 2018

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers disccus the ban on salary history questions during a job interview. Salary history questions during job interviews may soon become a thing of the past, as more states ban the practice. Even in states where asking about salary history is legal, more employers are opting not to do so. No one yet knows whether these new laws will make a difference in addressing gender wage inequality.

The Philadelphia Lawsuit

Philadelphia passed a salary history ban in January 2017, which was soon followed by a lawsuit from The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. The Chamber alleges that the ordinance is a broad impediment to businesses seeking to grow their workforce in Philadelphia. The lawsuit cites obstacles for city businesses and exclusion of important information from the hiring process. It also claims the ordinance violates employers’ First Amendment rights by not allowing questions about wage history. One of Philadelphia’s largest businesses, Comcast Corp., threatened legal action if their First Amendment rights were affected. The Chamber supports closing the gender wage gap and raises concerns on how the ordinance will prevent that from happening.

However, the bill also prohibits employers for setting job salaries based on past job salaries, offering the candidate a salary based on their qualification skills for the job. Proponents hope it will change the hiring process by requiring employers to determine how much a job should pay, then find a candidate, rather than have candidates talk about their current or past salary and receive an offer based on that information. Certain people may not be comfortable with salary negotiations, and an available salary range for any position should be part of the application process, according to this view.


Not everyone thinks eliminating the salary history question is a good idea. Opponents argue that the salary history discussion can help a candidate, as many job interviewers specifically want to make a higher salary, and discussion of their current pay helps in the negotiation process. It also allows employers to gauge market conditions for various positions, and serves as a tool when making a salary offer. A similar bill was passed in California, but was soon opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce for creating obstacles in the hiring process and causing employers unnecessary litigation.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Advocate for Victims of Discrimination

If you have been the victim of job discrimination based on your current or past salary, you need the services of the Philadelphia employment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C.. We fight aggressively for your rights, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 215-569-1999 for a free consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.

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