WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association, the oldest association of lawyers in the United States, is committed to advancing diversity, gender equality and advancement of women and minorities in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has communicated that diversity and inclusion are core values of the Philadelphia Bar Association; and

WHEREAS, reflecting its steadfast commitment to the achievement of diversity and inclusion, the Philadelphia Bar Association has developed a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to set forth goals, metrics and reporting mechanisms to ensure the Association fulfills its commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession; and

WHEREAS, as women are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinners in their families, gender pay inequity impacts the entire economy; and

WHEREAS, according to a study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, closing the gender pay gap would lower the poverty rate in every state, including Pennsylvania; and

WHEREAS, in August 2016, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to ban employers from asking about a job applicant's salary history; and

WHEREAS, as employers typically make compensation decisions based on an applicant's previous salary, which unfairly penalizes women and minorities who, on average, have historically earned less than white males, forbidding an employer from inquiring about past compensation will help level the playing field and advance the goal of pay equity; and

WHEREAS, in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, State Representatives Maria Donatucci and Donna Bullock on September 21, 2016 introduced House Bill 2356, Printer's No. 3891, which would amend Pennsylvania's Equal Pay Law by:

  1. Prohibiting employers from asking about an applicant's prior salary history;
  2. Requiring hiring managers to state a salary offer based on what the applicant's perceived worth is to the company, as opposed to what she made in a previous position;
  3. Barring employers from prohibiting their employees from discussing their salaries with each other; and
  4. Requiring employers to pay women the same compensation as men for "comparable" work. Comparable work is defined as being "substantially similar" in skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association calls on members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact, and the Governor to sign, House Bill 2356, Printer's No. 3891, or any similar legislation.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee to communicate the content of this resolution to members of the General Assembly, the Governor, state and local public officials, other bar associations, and the public at large, and to take such other action as may be appropriate.

ADOPTED: October 26, 2016