EXCLUSIVE(ish)! Philly Chamber sues to block new law banning job interview questions about salary history

Philadelphia City Hall

Earlier this year, Philadelphia passed a law banning employers from asking about a job applicant’s salary history. In that blog post, I foreshadowed a possible lawsuit from business groups to block the law, which would otherwise take effect on May 23.

Early Thursday morning, Philly.com’s Tricia L. Nadolny reported here that the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce planned to sue the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to block the new ordinance, “arguing that it violates businesses’ freedom of speech and will do little to close the gender pay gap.”

Well, yesterday, it happened.

You can read the complaint here first. I think. The Chamber also sought this injunction to block the law. Indeed, the Chamber argues that the new law violates First and Fourteenth Amendments and the Due Process and Commerce Clauses of the United States Constitution, as well as Pennsylvania law.

***quick Google search***

Dammit! Other outlets are reporting that this happened. Here’s the Philadelphia Business Journal’s story with a link to this statement from the Philly Chamber:7VdeuH

I’ll provide more EXCLUSIVE(ish) updates as the case progresses.


  • Heavy Metal Lawyer

    I’d be really interested to see someone who is knowledgeable break down what the real reasons are that businesses are against this law. Why is it exactly that a business needs to know what someone’s salary was? The reasons given here are incredibly vague to me.

  • Why would an employer ask for a salary history before a job offer is made?

    How does past salary impact future job performance?

    Most managers are ill-suited to do their jobs well and questions regarding past salaries indicate it.

    I’m always surprised and saddened that so many managers let unknown and incompetent managers impact their own hiring decisions.

    If an applicant’s employer underpays him, does that mean the new employer should also underpay him?

    If an applicant’s employer overpays him, does that mean the new employer should also overpay him?

    Applicants do not know what the job is worth to the employer and employers do not know what the job is worth to the applicant until a job offer is offered with compensation.

    Managers who act as if employees are a cost to be minimized are incompetent since it is the work product of employees that is exchanged for money.