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

New York and New Jersey Ban Salary Inquiries

Q.  Is my company allowed to inquire about an applicant’s salary history when considering him or her for employment?

A.   The growing trend to eliminate inquiries into a job applicant’s salary history continues. In July, New York and New Jersey became the latest states to enact legislation that will restrict employers from obtaining and utilizing an applicant’s salary history information during the hiring process.

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Leigh H. McMonigle