Third Circuit Upholds Philadelphia’s Salary History Ban

Q.  Are employers allowed to ask employees about their salary history in Philadelphia?

A.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that a Philadelphia city ordinance that prohibits Philadelphia employers from asking applicants about their current or past pay rates is constitutional. In April 2018, a Philadelphia federal court judge held that the ban was unconstitutional because it violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment. However, this month, the Third Circuit vacated the lower court ruling and held that the ban is constitutional. As a result, Philadelphia employers must immediately begin complying with Philadelphia’s salary history ban.

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–Leigh H. McMonigle and Lee E. Tankle

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