On January 23, 2017 Philadelphia became the first U.S. city to bar employers in the private sector from accessing the salary history of new job applicants. Many people hailed this as a legal step towards equal pay, but some of the concerned employers were not pleased.
Expounding the Law
The new salary history law has many aspects to it. However, the most notable of these aspects include:
• Barring employers from asking job applicants to provide their salary history
• Barring employers from accessing new applicants’ salary history without their consent
• Barring employers from discriminating against new applicants for their failure to reveal their salary history
• Barring employers from punishing applicants who choose not to disclose their salary history
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Resistance from Disgruntled Employers
Expectedly, the new salary history law was met with sustained resistance by disgruntled employers; in fact, some companies disputed the law even more it was passed. For example, Comcast Communications threatened to sue the city citing concerns that its First Amendment rights were under threat. However, a section of the employers seemed to be okay with the new law considering that the issue of unequal pay has increasingly been on the spotlight in the recent past.
However, in spite of the sustained resistance against the law, the Chamber still had its way as the law suits were not comprehensive. The Eastern District of Pennsylvania was responsible for upholding the new law. According to Angel.co, some of the reasons given for this decision include the fact that the lawsuits did not specify how the disgruntled businesses would be affected; the suits also did not specify which members of the chamber would be sued.
However, there is no doubt that the fight is far from over and the city expects more lawsuits in the near future.
About Karl Heideck
Karl Heideck is a counsel-listed attorney and popular blogger. He has been providing legal consultation services since 2015. He holds a law degree from the James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University as well as an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College. He is currently based at Jenkintown, PA.
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