Firm News

February 5, 2018

New NYC Law Bans Questions On Salary History

Employers must be aware of what they can and cannot ask.

A new law in New York City, set to go into effect on October 31, 2017, will make
it illegal for any employer to inquire about a job applicant’s salary history.
This follows a law signed last year which precluded government employers from asking these same questions. The new law states that employers cannot “rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract.” The law broadly defines “to inquire” and includes questions to the applicant, the applicant’s current or former employer, or other employees of that employer. It also broadly defines “salary history” to include wages, benefits, or other compensation. The law does not preclude questions about revenue or productivity generated for the applicant’s prior employer. It also notes that employers can ask questions concerning salary expectations. Employers may also consider salary history if the applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses that information. Employers should have a system in place to document and confirm the applicant’s voluntary disclosure of this information.

Violations of this law could be reported to New York City’s Commission on Human Rights, which can impose fines of up to $250,000 per violation.
A similar bill is currently before the New York State Senate, having already passed the State Assembly. We will continue to monitor this legislation and provide updates.

Contact Feldman Kieffer today to discuss your hiring policies.

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