Philadelphia Employers Alert: Wage Equity Ordinance Will Be Enforced Starting September 1
On September 1, 2020, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will begin enforcing a previously-enjoined provision of the city’s Wage Equity Ordinance, which addresses the disparity in the pay of women and minorities.
The previously-enjoined provision of the ordinance, known as the “Inquiry Provision,” prohibits employers from asking about a job applicant or employee’s wage history or using that information to set an employee’s wages. This provision of the ordinance had been blocked by a federal district court, which held that the provision likely violated employers’ rights to free speech, and thus ran afoul of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, on February 6, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated the district court’s order, breathing new life into the salary history ban. Employers remain free to ask applicants other questions, such as job qualifications, work history, and skills.