by Samara Fritzsche, Career Advisor, JEVS Career Strategies
Q. Philadelphia recently enacted legislation that allows me to not have to tell prospective employers my previous salary. Can this benefit me? Why was this needed?
A. 2015 Census Bureau statistics show that women earn 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes. The intention of the Wage Equity Bill was to narrow the wage gap between men and women. Passed by City Council on December 8, 2016 and signed into law, this means that in about four months, employers will not be able to ask prospective employees about their past wages.
Not having to disclose your previous salary is advantageous to you, because now you’ve got the opportunity to receive an offer based on your actual skills and experience, not based on what you earned previously. This means a job chance could result in a salary jump for you! Take note: if an applicant “knowingly and willingly” discloses wage information, the employer may consider it when determining their offer. So if you don’t want the employer to know your previous wage information, then be sure to not mention it. Employers cannot ask applicants for their current or past salary information but they will still legally be allowed to ask applicants what they are expecting for the job they are applying for. I would expect we will see employers relying more heavily on market data, regarding wage rates and benefits packages.
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