Although perhaps somewhat limited in its application, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has blocked the city of Philadelphia from implementing a ban on inquiries into a job applicant’s salary history. In a lawsuit brought by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, US District Court Judge Michael Goldberg gave a win to both the Chamber and the city. He found that the prohibition on employers being able to ask about salary history violated the free speech provisions of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. At the same time however, he also ruled that employers cannot base hiring decisions on salary history. This decision differs quite a bit from one rendered last month by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in California wherein an 11-judge panel on the nation’s most liberal appellate court ruled that under the Equal Pay Act, an employer paying a woman less than a man because of salary history is a form of gender discrimination. That decision goes beyond others decided by the 10th and 11th Circuit courts which prohibited employers from paying a woman less than a man based solely on her salary history. They’ll be more to come on this issue over the coming months.