On Thursday, December 8, Philadelphia City Council will vote on equal pay legislation.
Please call your City Councilperson, let them know you support equal pay for equal work in Philadelphia, and ask them to support Bill #160840. Step-by-step instructions for this call to action are listed below.
Bill #160840, sponsored by Councilmembers Bill Greenlee and Blondell Reynolds Brown, prohibits employers from asking applicants’ for their salary history, a best-practice formally recommended by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as an “important step” to ensuring equal pay for equal work.
Typically, the gender wage gap is present early in a woman’s career, then widens throughout her life. Basing salary offers on a prior wage–rather than the job’s responsibilities and the applicants’ qualifications—is one way pay discrimination is perpetuated throughout a woman’s working life.
By removing prior wages from the conversation, this bill enables women to negotiate salary based on objective criteria, like education and experience, and not be penalized by lower earnings in a previous job.
Employers will not be adversely affected by this bill. Prior wages are not a measure of an applicant’s value to an employer, and are not a “factor other than sex” that employers should be allowed to consider in setting pay.
The gender pay gap is wider for women of color than white women. This bill will help close the gender pay gap for all women, and particularly help women of color who often suffer both gender and racial pay discrimination.
TAKE ACTION ONE STEP AT A TIME:
FIND your City Councilmember (and other City representatives) by entering your address into the Committee of 70’s Citizen Guide.
ENTER his or her contact information into your mobile phone. As an engaged citizen and advocate for equality, you should have it handy.
CALL them, tell them you are a constituent, and that equal pay is important to you.
URGE them to support Bill #160840. If you have had a personal experience with pay discrimination, you should share it. These stories matter.
CALL or EMAIL the rest of the City Councilmembers, if you can (except the sponsors Greenlee & Reynolds Brown, who obviously already support the bill). You can find a list of Philadelphia City Councilmembers and contact information here.
SHARE this message with your friends. Ask them to speak up for equal pay in Philadelphia, and ask them to sign up for Women’s Law Project’s Action Alerts to stay informed about opportunities to speak up for equality for women and girls in Pennsylvania.
ATTEND the hearing. The day begins at 10AM in Room 400 of City Hall. However, there are many bills on the Agenda and so it is not possible to predict what time the vote will take place.
WATCH the hearing via the Philadelphia City Council livestream here.
THANK Councilmember Bill Greenlee and Councilmember Reynolds Brown for sponsoring this legislation and supporting equal rights in Philadelphia. You can do this any way you like. If you use twitter: @BillGreenlee215 and @CouncilwomanBRB.
STAY INFORMED about Philadelphia City Council by signing up for their newsletter here.
The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.