If you’re applying for a job in Philadelphia, in a few months, employers won’t be able to ask about your previous salary.
Philadelphia City Council passed a bill Thursday barring employers from seeking or requiring information about job applicants’ salary history.
The goal is to help cut down the wage gap between genders. In Pennsylvania, on average, women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women of color earn even less; African-American women are paid 68 cents and Latinas 56 cents to the dollar paid a man.
“Oftentimes employers start out by basing their salary offer on what the person makes at their previous job,” said Councilman Bill Greenlee who sponsored the bill. “If that person makes less than they really should have, or maybe the job doesn’t pertain to the new job, it just perpetuates that inequity.”
According to Greenlee, enforcement of the bill will be complaint-driven and those who believe they’ve been asked about salary history unfairly will be able to file a complaint with the city’s Human Relations Commission.
Once signed by the mayor, the new rule will go into effect in 120 days or about four months.
“The mayor looks forward to signing this bill, as we believe this will help to narrow the wage gap by eliminating what is an implicit bias against lower-paid workers when employers ask for wage history,” said a representative of Mayor Jim Kenney.