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Federal Court Reverses Philadelphia Court Ruling Enjoining Salary History Ban

In May of 2018, Hire Image reported that a federal judge ruled the salary history ban enacted originally in 2017 violated an employer’s First Amendment right of free speech. However, the court ruled the reliance part of the law would still stand. As such, Philadelphia employers have been able to inquire about salary history, but not rely on it to determine an applicant’s pay.

On February 6, 2020, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the city of Philadelphia could ban employers from asking applicants their salary history, reversing the lower court’s 2018 decision to enjoin the ordinance.

While the effective date has not yet been established, Philadelphia employers are prohibited from:

    • Requiring disclosure of wage history,
    • Inquiring about a prospective employee’s wage history,
    • Conditioning employment or consideration for an interview on disclosure of wage history,
    • Retaliating against a prospective employee for failing to comply with any wage history inquiry, or
    • Relying on the wage history of  a prospective employee in determining their wages, unless the applicant “knowingly and willingly” disclosed their salary history to an employer.

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With this decision, Philadelphia employers are no longer in limbo. They should take measures now to ensure their policies and procedures are up to date to remain in compliance with the salary history ban.

For more information on Salary History bans and other laws, and whether they affect your state, visit our resource guide at the Hire Image Resource Library.

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