Court Rules in Favor of Philadelphia Salary History Ban
Employers in Philadelphia now face stricter restrictions on the type of information they can ask of potential employees. After a recent decision by a federal appellate court, it is now illegal for Philadelphia employers to ask prospective employees about their salary history. Banning salary history questions has been viewed as one way to reduce the amount of race and gender discrimination, which can occur during the hiring process. Many worker advocacy groups argue employers may use a job applicant’s salary history as a basis for offering smaller salaries to individuals who have historically earned less money, including women and workers of color. By offering a job with lower wages based on an applicant’s prior salary history, employers further the detrimental effects of past race and gender discrimination.
Third Circuit Ruling
In its landmark unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the trial court’s decision, which allowed employers to ask about salary history. The appellate court decision focused on equality and the protection of a job applicant’s civil rights.
Under the new ruling, employers can neither ask about a job applicant’s salary history nor use prior salary history to set wages. The Court found removing the ban was an important step in preventing past wage discrimination. Employers violating the new law could face fines and lawsuits. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will enforce the law on behalf of the city.
Opponents of the ban, including the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, filed the original lawsuit to abolish the ban on behalf of several high-profile Philadelphia employers, including Comcast. Many employers view the ban as prohibitive to business growth and in violation of their commercial speech rights. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected as legal challenges to similar salary history bans in other states continue to make their way through state and federal courts.
Philadelphia’s salary history ban is another victory for the wage equity movement, which promotes equal pay for equal work. The average woman currently makes 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, with the wage gap even higher for minority women. Pay equality advocates believe banning the salary history question is an important step in acknowledging that male and female workers should be paid equally if they are performing the same job in the same organization.
Protecting the Civil Rights of Job Applicants
When a potential employer asks illegal questions during a job interview, they can face liability for civil rights violations. Individuals who are victims of illegal civil rights violations may be entitled to compensation. By contacting an experienced Philadelphia civil rights lawyer for assistance, individuals who have experienced this type of discrimination can take the first step in holding violators responsible.
Philadelphia Civil Rights Lawyers at Williams Cedar Obtain Compensation for Victims of Illegal Discrimination
If you believe your civil rights were violated, the experienced Philadelphia civil rights lawyers at Williams Cedar are here to help. We proudly fight to protect the civil rights of all individuals while helping them obtain the maximum amount of available compensation. Located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent individuals whose civil rights have been violated throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and nationwide. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 215-557-0099 or contact us online.