More join the fight to close the gender pay gap

Earlier this year, Philadelphia became the first city in the United States to prohibit employers from asking job applicants for their salary history.


Now, Philly is not alone. New York City's mayor has signed a similar law barring employers from asking job applicants about their wage history.


The purpose of the law is to help close the gender pay gap.


Employers routinely base salary offers and pay on previous wages.


This hurts female candidates because they typically earn less than their male counterparts due to the existing wage gap.


Questions about salary history -- and basing wages on that history -- perpetuate that gap.


Pay discrepancies between women and men who do essentially the same work persist across income and industries. These discrepancy extend beyond regular pay to raises and bonuses, too. 


New York and other cities pursuing similar pay equity measures may face the same challenges that Philadelphia has -- corporations and special interests more concerned about shareholder profits and CEO bonuses than they are about fair wages for women and the families they are trying to support.


Philadelphia's legislation has been challenged in court by the Chamber of Commerce with the support of several major corporations in the city.


Cities and towns shouldn't have to take on the responsibility and expense of protecting fair wages and the income you and your family deserve -- and you shouldn't have to live in a certain city to have your wages protected.


This is a fight the state legislature should be waging -- one it has ignored under Republican majorities.


That's why Democrats in the state House of Representatives are fighting for a strong statewide equal pay law, one that is clear, effective and holds employers accountable when wage discrimination occurs due to gender.


The wage gap costs the typical Pennsylvania woman nearly half a million dollars over a 40-year work career.


State government that works for you instead of the corporations and their special interests wouldn't ignore such brazen theft in any other circumstance.