Advocates Declare May 23 “Unequal Pay Day” in Philadelphia



PHILADELPHIA –Last year, Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed Bill No. 160840, a “prior pay” wage equity ordinance that prohibits employers from asking applicants to reveal their prior pay during job and salary discussions, or rely on wage history, when determining wages for a prospective new employee. In January, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney signed the bill into law, which was scheduled to go into effect on May 23, 2017.

May 23 is the day Philadelphia’s prior pay ordinance was scheduled to take effect.

However, it will not take effect on May 23 due to efforts to block the ordinance. Last month, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block it.

Advocates and Councilmembers, including the Women’s Law Project, Philadelphia National Organization for Women, the Philadelphia Commission for Women, Councilman Bill Greenlee and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown will speak out in support of the City, City Council, and the ordinance.


The press conference will take place on May 23, at 10AM, at Philadelphia City Hall, on the Fourth Floor (corridor).

“We know that basing a job’s pay on a prior wage, rather than the job’s responsibilities and the applicants’ qualifications, perpetuates discrimination throughout a woman’s career,” says Amal Bass, staff attorney at the Women’s Law Project. “Typically, the gender wage gap is present early in a woman’s career, then widens throughout her life.”

The gender pay gap is much wider for women of color than white women, making it even more crucial that Philadelphia addresses pay discrimination for all workers. “Instead of celebrating, we will speak up as a reminder of what this bill would mean to women, minorities, young people and families,” says Jovida Hill, Executive Director of Philadelphia Commission for Women.


Speakers include:

Amal Bass, Staff Attorney, Women’s Law Project

Jeni Wright, a Philadelphia worker

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown

Jovida Hill, Executive Director, Philadelphia Commission for Women

Renee Byer, Philadelphia worker

Melissa Robbins, NOW

Ben Waxman, Executive Director, Wage Change

Councilman Bill Greenlee


To request more information or an interview, contact Tara Murtha at


The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.

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The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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