Women and Minorities Protected by Ban
A local chamber of commerce sued the city alleging an ordinance prohibiting employers from inquiring about a prospective employee's wage history and relying on wage history to determine salary violated the employers' First Amendment free speech rights. The trial court issued an injunction in favor of the employers, but the Third Circuit rolled it back. After hearing testimony, the appellate court held the city’s reasons for restricting commercial speech in this way justify the salary history ban. Research has shown salary history inquiries contribute to the suppression of the wage potential for women and minority applicants. Now the law in Philadelphia, hailed by diversity and inclusion advocates, aligns with New York, New Jersey and California.