Pay Privacy in Comparative Prospect

15 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2018

See all articles by Matthew Finkin

Matthew Finkin

University of Illinois College of Law

Date Written: July 9, 2018


Five states and several cities, Philadelphia most prominently, have prohibited employers from asking applicants for their current rate of pay. These laws rest on the rationale that as women tend to be paid less than men the use of current pay rates in hiring can perpetuate sex discrimination, and so the information ought not be a subject of inquiry. That provision in the Philadelphia Ordinance has been enjoined as violative of free commercial speech. This short essay, taken from a lecture given at the Università digli Studi Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples, Italy, takes the issue up in the context of comparative law using Japan and Germany to compare with the U.S. It looks at the issue through three categories of domestic legal concern: entrepreneurial liberty (Japan), labor market outcome (U.S.), and individual privacy (Germany).

Suggested Citation

Finkin, Matthew W., Pay Privacy in Comparative Prospect (July 9, 2018). Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2018, Available at SSRN:

Matthew W. Finkin (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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