On June 6, 2018, Governor Wolf signed Executive Order 2018-18-03, which is designed to combat the gender pay gap in Pennsylvania. The Executive Order directs all state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction to:
The Executive Order does expressly state that applicants are not prohibited from volunteering information about their current compensation level or salary history in negotiating a salary. However, no agency can request that an applicant disclose current salary or salary history information.
So why the need for the Executive Order? Some argue that by asking an applicant to reveal their current salary or salary history, employers are perpetuating pay inequality between men and women. The reasoning is that because women have been paid less than men historically, asking applicants their salary history and then basing salary determinations on prior pay information further continues the cycle of pay inequality.
While the Executive Order is only applicable to Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, it may signal a push to address the gender pay gap throughout Pennsylvania.