PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A ground-breaking Philadelphia law, aimed at improving wage equity, is being challenged in federal court, just two days after “Equal Pay Day.”
The Chamber of Commerce is challenging the law as a First Amendment issue.
The law prohibits employers from asking a job applicant’s wage history, to prevent past discrimination from continuing to dog a worker’s earning capacity.
Philadelphia was the first city to pass such a law but its author, councilman Bill Greenlee says other cities are following suit and, as far as he knows, no other Chamber of Commerce is challenging it.
“If they’re proud of being alone in this, that’s up to them. They have to explain that. And I think it’s an insult to workers, particularly female workers around Philadelphia.”
The Chamber put up little opposition to the bill but balked after it passed, calling it the straw that broke the camel’s back.
President Rob Wonderling says that’s one of the main reasons for the suit.
“We’re hopeful we can re-engage in a more collaborative effort on regulatory and legislative policy.”
Greenlee says council won’t be intimidated by the suit.
“If the idea is to intimidate us, that ain’t happening.”