On April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking to block Philadelphia’s recently-enacted wage equity ordinance. The ordinance, which prohibits employers from inquiring about prospective employees’ wage histories, was set to go into effect on May 23, 2017. On April 19, 2017, however, Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg issued an order temporarily staying the May 23 effective date pending resolution of the chamber’s motion for preliminary injunction. Judge Goldberg further ordered the parties to address whether the chamber has standing to bring suit.
The City of Philadelphia has until May 1, 2017, to file a brief addressing the standing issue. The chamber will then be given the opportunity to rebut the city’s arguments by May 12, 2017. Following the resolution of the standing issue, Judge Goldberg will set a briefing schedule to resolve the chamber’s motion for preliminary injunction. Given these case deadlines, the ordinance will almost certainly not go into effect on May 23, 2017, as planned. Nevertheless, employers may still want to take this opportunity to review their hiring practices.