Vote To Ban Salary History Question In Cincinnati Gets Delayed

Feb 12, 2019

A Cincinnati Council Committee is delaying a vote on an ordinance that would set up a city-wide salary history ban in the city.  

It would make it illegal for public and private employers to ask about an applicant's salary history during the hiring process.  

Supporters say it's part of a solution to address pay inequities.

Meghan Cummings is the executive director of the Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which is supportive of the proposal.

"Of all the potential interventions the city could take to curtail pay inequity, the Women's Fund believes this legislation is the most effective without being to onerous to business," Cummings said. "Simply put, under this ordinance employees who have been underpaid will have an opportunity to reset and shed the historic pay inequity with their next employment opportunity."

But the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has expressed opposition to the legislation.  

Vice President for Government Affairs Katie Eagan is concerned by a federal lawsuit in Philadelphia about a nearly identical ordinance.

"The district court struck down a portion of the ordinance as (an) unconstitutional violation of businesses' First Amendment free speech protections," Eagan said. "And a similar lawsuit in the city of Cincinnati would crate a domino effect of uncertainty for the city, businesses and applicants alike."

A committee vote on the ordinance was delayed so supporters can find documentation and perhaps studies to strengthen the city's legal position if a similar lawsuit were filed here.