Third Circuit Protects Philly Workers from Improper Salary History Inquiries

February 12, 2020

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest federal court in Pennsylvania, upheld the constitutionality of a city ordinance prohibiting Philadelphia employers from asking job applicants about their salary histories.  The Third Circuit determined that Philadelphia lawmakers relied on substantial evidence that banning inquiries regarding an employee’s salary history will help women and minorities overcome past discriminatory pay decisions.  Therefore, the ordinance did not violate businesses’ rights to freedom of speech.

The Philadelphia Ordinance makes it unlawful for an employer to:

  1. Inquire about a prospective employee’s wage history;
  2. Require disclosure of wage history from a prospective employee;
  3. Condition employment or consideration for an interview or employment on disclosure of wage history;
  4. Retaliate against a prospective employee for failing to comply with any wage history inquiry; or
  5. Rely on the wage history of a prospective employee in determining the wages for a prospective employee.

The Third Circuit’s decision will likely deter the business community from future constitutional challenges of salary history ban legislation in Philadelphia and nationwide.  Indeed, workers in many cities and states, including New York, are protected by similar laws that restrict businesses from inquiring about an employee’s wage history.  Workers who believe that they have been the victim of improper salary history inquiries should speak to an attorney to investigate their claims.

About Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

Faruqi & Faruqi focuses on complex civil litigation, including:  securities, antitrust, employment, and consumer class actions. The firm is headquartered in New York, and maintains offices in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Georgia and California. Since its founding in 1995, Faruqi & Faruqi continues to serve as lead or co-lead counsel in high-profile cases that ultimately provide significant recoveries to investors, consumers and employees.

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About Patrick J. Collopy

Patrick J. Collopy is an Associate in Faruqi & Faruqi’s New York office and focuses his practice on employment law and wage and hour class action litigation.

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Posted by Patrick J. Collopy

Associate at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP
New York Office
Tel: (212) 983-9330
Fax: (212) 983-9331

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