Philadelphia Prohibits Employers From Asking Applicants About Wage History

On January 23, 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law an amendment to the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance that prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their wage history, requiring disclosure of wage history as a condition of employment, or retaliating against job applicants for failing to provide a wage history. The Ordinance will take effect on May 23, 2017.

Violators of the Ordinance, which will be enforced by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, may be subjected to injunctive relief, as well as awards of compensatory damages, attorney’s fees, and even punitive damages of up to $2,000 per violation.

In advance of May 23, 2017, Philadelphia employers should revise any employment applications that request the disclosure of wage history. Steps should also be taken to train managers and human resources staff on the new Ordinance to ensure that they do not ask questions about wage history in interviews or other dealings with job applicants, or retaliate in any way against job applicants for not providing such information. We will continue to watch events closely and advise you of any significant developments. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Ordinance or its potential impact please feel free to contact our office.

By:  Michael Miles, Esquire
Partner at Brown & Connery, LLP