Philadelphia Beefs Up Enforcement Powers Against Employers

June 23, 2017Alerts Labor & Employment Alerts

Mayor Jim Kenny signed legislation on June 22, 2017 that authorizes the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to order an employer to cease operations in the City of Philadelphia “for a specified period of time” if the Commission finds that the employer “has engaged in severe or repeated violations without effective efforts to remediate the violations.” None of these terms are defined in the new law, which is effective immediately.

In 2016, the same Fair Practices Ordinance was amended to require that the Commission notify the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections of any employer that engages in an unlawful employment practice for possible denial or revocation of the employer's commercial activity license. 

The Commission already has the authority to seek injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs and counsel fees. 

Philadelphia already is defending a federal court challenge brought by the Chamber of Commerce to an earlier ordinance that bars employers from making inquiries about a job applicant's salary history. 

For more information about this alert, please contact Steven K. Ludwig at 215.299.2164 or [email protected] or any member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department.