LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When some applies for a job with Metro Government, there will soon be one more question the applicant cannot be asked.

Metro Council passed an ordinance Thursday that bans Metro agencies from asking new job applicants their salary history. The measure is designed to help shrink the pay gap between men and women.

Recent studies show women are generally paid 20 percent less than men in the same job, which is why Tina Halbig said she pushed Metro Government to take action to address the issue.

“About half now are women in the workforce,” Halbig said. “A great percentage are single mothers, and they're having a hard time making ends meet.”

The ordinance is designed to help women break out of the cycle of lower pay.

“Do you think people would pay somebody $50,000 that had only been making $30,000 ? So, this is what we want to do. We want to close that gap. Don't ask how much we have made,” said Metro Council member Mary Woolridge, the sponsor of the ordinance.  

Metro Council passed the ordinance unanimously. Woolridge said she now wants go further and apply the policy to state workers.

“I'd like to see the General Assembly take this up next year and make this statewide,” she said.

Halbig is convinced that, as government takes the lead, private business will follow.

“We hope to engage businesses as well," she said. "I believe businesses will find they have a good outcome."

Woolridge said the ordinance should shrink not just the pay gap among women, but also among minorities.

“It's for women for the most part and people of color, people that have been discriminated against,” Woolridge said.

The ordinance takes effect 30 days after Mayor Greg Fischer signs it.

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