Kenney’s wage discrimination bill fought with force
In an effort to prevent wage discrimination in the workplace, a bill was passed by City Council with a 16-0 vote and is currently awaiting Kenney’s signature.
The bill, which is facing open backlash from Comcast, is facing legal review by Philadelphia’s legal department and as a result, a delay in being signed into law by Mayor Kenney.
Policy advocates and community organizers who support the bill, state the wage-gap legislation is the primary way that the city can combat against the lower wages that women and minorities face throughout their careers. Many have pressed that the initial discrepancy in pay begins early in many careers, typically at the first job a woman or minority may have.
The bill works by preventing employers from asking prospective employees about their salary or wage history, as well as preventing them from penalizing applicants for not answering that question during the interview or intake process.
A type of law that is typically passed by state legislators, this bill would be the first of its kind to be passed by a U.S. city and is modeled after a Massachusetts law that was passed in August.
City Councilman Bill Greenlee drafted and introduced the bill and met with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce today but told the Inquirer prior to the meeting, "I'm not changing anything," he said. "And I've already told them that."
Comcast is spearheading the attack on the the bill and coordinating with the Chamber of Commerce to do so. "While my client and others in the business community who are considering a legal challenge do not want to appear confrontational in any way, it is important to note that a successful challenge ... could make the City liable for a substantial award of attorney's fees," attorney Miguel Estrada wrote on behalf of Comcast according to the Inquirer.