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January 11, 2017

David Woolf Quoted in Billy Penn Discussing Philadelphia Pay History Bill

Philadelphia partner David Woolf was quoted in a Billy Penn article titled, “Big business is fighting City Hall over how every employee in Philly will be hired.” The article discusses Philadelphia’s proposed bill that would make it illegal for any employer or employment agency to ask a potential employee his or her salary background during the interview process. The bill is largely based on Massachusetts legislation that will take effect in January 2018.

Though the bill passed unanimously last month, several businesses have come forward opposing the bill, most notably Comcast – the largest employer in Philadelphia – which has teamed up with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and threatened to sue the city. Mayor Jim Kenney has two weeks to sign the bill before it will automatically become law. David contrasted the bill with Philadelphia’s “ban the box” ordinance, which makes it illegal for employers to ask about criminal backgrounds during the job application process.

While many businesses have debated the usefulness of criminal background check, David noted that most employers garner value from knowing what a potential employee is currently paid.

“You’re taking something that people have used for years, if not decades as a common area of inquiry, and putting it off-limits,” David said. “And I think that’s the big change.”

David encourages business to hold tight on the bill before making any changes to their hiring practices but, if enacted, advises clients to limit who they have interviewing candidates. He also advocates re-training those doing the interviewing, since asking about salary history has been ingrained in most hiring professionals.

Read “Big business is fighting City Hall over how every employee in Philly will be hired” at the link below.

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