By E. Pluribus Unum
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia has sued the City of Philadelphia in federal court over what they term “a flawed measure” that prohibits disclosure of a job applicant’s prior salary history unless the applicant willingly reveals it. The bill was introduced by City Councilman Bill Greenlee, passed by Council, signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney and slated to go into effect late next month.
Below is an excerpt from the official statement from the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia:
“The decision to file suit was not made in haste. After thoroughly reviewing the legislation, speaking with Mayor Kenney and members of the City Council, testifying at a City Council hearing, and conferring with our members it is our collective belief that Bill No. 160840 must be prevented from taking effect.
Our mission is to attract, retain and grow jobs for the city and region, yet the Ordinance stands as a roadblock to the businesses seeking to grow their workforce in Philadelphia. Our top concerns – which range from exclusion of important information from the hiring process, lack of consideration for varying business needs and potential civil and criminal penalties – will only result in driving businesses out of the city and fewer jobs for local workers.
Further, the Ordinance violates employers’ First Amendment rights to ask about, and rely on, wage history, and is not supported by any tangible evidence that these practices perpetuate wage discrimination. The Ordinance applies to all businesses, large and small – including non-profits – that have a single employee within the City or that conduct business in the City. The Ordinance makes Philadelphia businesses less competitive. It makes recruiting top talent more difficult and will put Philadelphia employers at a significant disadvantage compared to employers anywhere else in the U.S. at the present time.
As we seek to promote growth and opportunity in Philadelphia, not quash it, and make this City a friendly place to live, work and do business, this Ordinance will hurt the economy, inhibit business growth and impede the creation of new jobs.
The Chamber will not stand by and allow Philadelphia’s vibrant and growing business community to be irreversibly harmed by this measure.”