PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the campus of Drexel University Monday, students and supporters of Philadelphia’s pending, but court-challenged wage equity law, held a rally next to the Dragon statue, at 33rd and Market Streets.
Unanimously passed by City Council and signed by Mayor Jim Kenney at the start of 2017, the law seeks to prevent employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history during the hiring process.
But it was not enacted, because of a legal challenge by the Chamber of Commerce. Drexel President John Fry, who doubles as chairman of the chamber, called the law “unnecessarily burdensome.”
Political science major Avyaktan Srinivasan says it would block opportunities based on race and gender.
“If he wins this, it will perpetuate inequalities with wage equity,” Srinivasan said.
A judge initially rejected the lawsuit, pointing out the chamber never identified a single business the law would harm. In an amended court filing, the chamber named 13 business leaders, including Fry at Drexel, and executives at Comcast and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Second-year law student Cassie Grainge is troubled by Fry’s stance.
“To bring the university in on it, where we are all about to enter the workforce, is inappropriate and unfair,” she said.
Similar wage equity laws have since cropped up around the country, including New York City.