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New Orleans Mayor Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Wage History Inquires

On January 25, 2017, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed Executive Order MJL17-01, which prohibits questions about salary history during the application process for persons seeking employment with the City of New Orleans. The order further requires the Civil Service Commission to conduct a pay disparity study among city employees and submit the study to the mayor and chief administrative officer.

According to a study conducted by Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, the New Orleans gender pay gap is 21 percent. The “gender gap” results in an average of $9,567 less income for women each year. Some authorities believe salary history inquires during the hiring process perpetuate wage disparities for women.  The ban on salary history has been enacted by other cities, such as Philadelphia, and states, including Massachusetts. This order signals New Orleans’s interest in addressing pay equity issues in the workplace.

The order is part of a larger equal pay strategy to address the perceived wage gap between men and women throughout the state of Louisiana, according to several Louisiana elected officials. New Orleans Councilman Jared Brossett introduced two ordinances to address pay equity on January 26, 2017: (1) an ordinance that establishes a nine-member equal pay advisory committee to advise the council on pay equity issues and (2) an ordinance that bans pay discrimination for city workers and employees of city contractors.

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About this Author


Atoyia Harris practices labor and employment litigation. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins in 2016, Atoyia successfully defended matters and assisted clients on wide variety of litigation matters for more than three years.

Atoyia received her Bachelor of Music in Industry Studies with emphasis in classical piano from Loyola University New Orleans and was member of the Loyola University Women’s Basketball Team. She received her Juris Doctorate with an International Law Certification from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Atoyia served...

Andrew P. Burnside, Ogletree Deakins, Employment Law Matters Lawyer, Trade Secrets Attorney

Drew Burnside represents employers in federal and state courts, as well as federal and state administrative agencies, in employment law matters. Drew is admitted in Louisiana and Texas.

Drew has received an “AV” Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell and was on the editorial board of Tulane Maritime Law Journal at Tulane University. He is a chapter editor of and contributing author to The Family and Medical Leave Act treatise, published by BNA. Drew also was contributing author to The Developing Labor Law (3rd ed. BNA).

Drew works with employers on issues arising under Title VII, ADEA, ADA, NLRA, FMLA, FLSA, WARN, ERISA and state laws concerning drug testing, non-competition agreements, trade secrets, handbooks, and defends claims of defamation, invasion of privacy, wrongful discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress.