Skip to main content

Why Banning Salary Histories May Help Pay Equity

Pay discrimination is an ongoing issue for Pennsylvania’s women. At the current rate of wage growth, it will take another 40 years (at least) before women and men earn the same amount. One step in addressing wage inequality is ensuring that a history of low salaries does not follow a woman into a new workplace.

Women’s wages are lower than men’s from the first year out of college. At that point, women working full time earn an average of $35,296 while men earn $42,918. These lower wages are compounded when women (or men of color) apply for new jobs and are asked to share their pay history. Instead of starting the new job on an equal footing, they enter with a lower salary because it was based on their previous employment. Then, after another year of work, their wages are unlikely to grow at the same rate as men’s wages. As women get older, the wage gap continues to grow.

If employers stop asking for salary histories, workers will gain the ability to earn what their work is actually worth. A woman who starts her career at the low end of a salary range will not be held to that standard for the rest of her working life. Instead, employers will make salary offers based on experience, education, and ability, not on previous earnings.

Massachusetts recently passed a law banning employers from asking for a salary history. Other cities and states, including Philadelphia, are looking to do the same. What do you think?

Check out some information on pay equity in PA below:

  • Women are paid $0.79 on the dollar compared to men in the state, and women of color face an even larger gap (African American women are paid 60 cents and Latinas are paid 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men).
  • The gap does not only affect women – just as African American and Latina women earn less than white, non-Latino men, men of color also earn less than their white counterparts.
  • The wage gap affects workers (and their families) throughout their lives. Eliminating the wage gap would give a woman enough money to purchase 80 more weeks of food for her family, eight more months of mortgage and utilities payments, more than 12 more months of rent, or 4,322 additional gallons of gas. 
  • Lower wages lead to less money in Social Security and 401k’s at retirement.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You Registered to Vote?

As we get closer to the November elections, Google searches on how to register are increasing, which begs the question: Are you registered? Do you know how to sign up?

Pennsylvania and many other states require voter registration before Election Day - in Pennsylvania's case, voters must be registered one month ahead of time.  So if you recently moved, just turned 18, haven't voted in a while, or never registered before, the time to sign up is now.

PathWays PA has partnered with Rock the Vote to offer voter registration through this blog! You can fill out the form below to register or to make sure that you are registered.

Please take the time to register, and also consider pledging to vote in support of your economic values at!

PS - click here to share a voter registration link on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

Register Now for National Audio Conferences on Job Scheduling

From our friends at CLASP Register now for three national audio conferences on job scheduling! Job schedules matter in many ways. For all workers, it helps when an employer is responsive to a request for a needed schedule change. And far too many workers have volatile and potentially destabilizing schedules. If you don't know when you are supposed to be at work until the last minute, how do you arrange child care or transportation? If your total hours fluctuate from week to week, how do you budget for rent and food? To address these issues and emerging policy opportunities, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is hosting and sponsoring three Job Schedules Matter audio conferences.

The conferences, which are co-sponsored by the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Women's Law Center, will include comments from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman George Miller on why they introduced the Schedules that Work Act. You'll also hear from workers about th…

Register for FRAC's Federal Nutrition Program Conference Calls

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) will host two public conference calls in October. Information on the calls follows below:
Breakfast Matters - Effective Messaging: Getting Positive Press in your Community

Thursday October 11, 3 – 4 pm ET
Click here to register.
Learn tips from a national communications firm about how to place your stories with local media and receive positive press coverage for your program.

Presenters: * Jon Dickl, School Nutrition Director, Knox County Schools, Tennessee
* Amber LaCroix, BRG Communications

Afterschool Meals Matter - Community Partnerships
Wednesday, October 17, at 1:00 pm EST

Click here to register.
Learn how you can connect with a myriad of community partners, from parent groups to corporate volunteer programs, who can offer you and your program their time, energy, and support. Community partners can assist you with meal preparation, programming, outreach to increase your participation, and ultimately to help build up community support and in…