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.