It's that job interview question you'd love to dodge: What's your current, or most recent, salary?
A low figure could limit your starting pay. A high number might make you seem expensive.
This week, the city of Philadelphia said it will hold off on enforcing the legislation until a federal judge rules on a petition to block it from the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. A federal court already had temporarily stayed the law, which was to take effect May 23. And Connecticut recently dropped the "salary history" prohibition from its bill to ensure gender pay equity.
Philadelphia joins New York City and Massachusetts, where legislation was passed this month and last year, respectively, in barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary history or benefits. The laws are scheduled to take effect in New York later this year and in Massachusetts in July 2018.
At least eight other states are considering similar measures — Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, according to law firm Fisher & Phillips. The bills are aimed at closing a long-standing gender-based pay gap that, according to the Census Bureau, has women earning about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. (Studies that compare men and women in similar occupations and control for other factors, such as experience, find much narrower pay disparities.) By basing future salaries on previous wages, employers can perpetuate the earnings divide, advocates for women say.