City agrees to hold off on enforcing wage equity law, in light of lawsuit

The city has agreed to hold off on enforcing its newly signed wage-equity law, which is set to take effect May 23, pending a judge’s decision on whether to grant an injunction in a lawsuit aiming to strike it down.

“We believe that volunteering to postpone implementation provides a benefit to the City in the litigation because it gives the court, and defense, more time to sort through the legal, factual and procedural issues addressed by plaintiff's filings,” Lauren Hitt, Mayor Kenney’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The law, passed by City Council in December and signed by Kenney the following month, bans employers from asking for a job applicant’s salary history in an attempt to close the gender pay gap.

The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, which is now suing to block the law, and Comcast Corp. pressured Kenney to veto the bill, saying the law was unnecessarily burdensome on businesses and would stunt business growth.

In the suit filed in federal court earlier this month, the Chamber argues the law violates businesses’ right to freedom of speech and will not close the pay gap.

The chamber has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. According to an order signed by Judge Mitchell Goldberg on Tuesday, the city has agreed to wait on enforcing the law only until the judge rules on that pending motion.

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