Philadelphia has indefinitely delayed implementation of its new ordinance that that will make it unlawful for employers to inquire into an applicant’s wage history during the hiring process.

As we previously reported, the law was scheduled to take effect on May 23, 2017.  However, on April 6, 2017, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia filed suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking to declare the ordinance unconstitutional.  Following a motion for a preliminary injunction by the Chamber of Commerce, the district court granted a stay of the law’s implementation until the motion is resolved.  Subsequently, the City of Philadelphia agreed to delay implementation of the ordinance indefinitely, saying in a statement that “volunteering to postpone implementation provides a benefit to the City in the litigation because it gives the court, and defense, more time to sort through the legal, factual and procedural issues addressed by plaintiff’s filings.”

If ultimately implemented, the law will require that—absent a federal, state, or local law specifically authorizing the disclosure or verification of wage history for employment purposes—employers or their agents may not:

  • inquire about, or require disclosure of, a prospective employee’s wage history, whether in writing or otherwise;
  • condition employment or consideration for an interview or employment on disclosure of wage history; or
  • rely on an prospective employee’s wage history obtained from a current or former employer in determining the individual’s wages at any stage in the employment process—including the negotiation or drafting of any employment contract—unless the applicant “knowingly and willingly” discloses his or her wage history to the employer.

We will continue to report on any further developments.