On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D.) signed into law Bill No. 160840, a wage equity ordinance, making it unlawful for Philadelphia employers to ask about or require wage history as part of the job interview process. The Philadelphia Ordinance is part of the growing national trend aimed at closing the pay gap between men and women (see our client briefing Equal Pay Legislation Trends: Banning Inquiry into Pay History). The Philadelphia Ordinance will take effect in 120 days, on May 23, 2017.

Bill No. 160840 amends the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance to prohibit covered employers from:

  • Inquiring about a prospective employee's wage history;
  • Requiring disclosure of wage history;
  • Conditioning employment or consideration for an interview on disclosure of wage history; or
  • Retaliating against a prospective employee for failing to comply with any wage history inquiry.

The Ordinance also makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to "rely on the wage history of a prospective employee from any current or former employer when determining the wages for such individual at any stage in the employment process, including in the negotiation or drafting of any employment contract." However, under the Ordinance an employer is permitted to rely on any wage information that is knowingly and willingly disclosed by an applicant.

Philadelphia employers should ensure hiring procedures and policies are in compliance with the new Ordinance.