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Employers Now Banned from Asking Prospective Hires About Salary History

As of Jan. 6th, New York employers are banned from seeking salary history information from job applicants and from using compensation history in making employment, salary, and promotion decisions. The new law, which was enacted at the end of the 2019 Legislative Session, prohibits employers from:

  • relying on salary history in determining whether to make an offer of employment or in determining an applicant's or employee's pay rate;
  • seeking, requesting, or requiring (orally or in writing) an applicant’s or current employee’s wage or salary history as a condition for an interview, consideration for employment, or promotion;
  • seeking, requesting, or requiring (orally or in writing) an applicant’s or a current employee’s salary history, whether directly or from a current or former employer;
  • refusing to interview, hire, promote, or employ, or retaliating against an applicant or current employee due to the applicant's or current employee’s wage or salary history; and
  • refusing to interview, hire, promote, or employ, or retaliating against an applicant or current employee who refuses to provide his or her salary history or because the applicant or current employee filed a complaint with the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) about a violation of this law.

The law does not prevent an employee or prospective employee from volunteering information about his or her compensation history, nor does it prohibit employers from inquiring about the employee's or prospective employee's compensation expectations. An employer may confirm wage or salary history after an offer of employment is made if the applicant or current employee attempts to negotiate a higher wage or salary by providing prior wage or salary information.

Some counties and New York City have previously adopted their own salary history bans. Generally, employers must comply with both the state and local requirements by implementing the most expansive or stringent provisions of each.

Members are advised to review their job application, interview, and promotion procedures and forms to comply with these requirements. Supervisors and human resources personnel involved in evaluating candidates for employment and promotion should also be trained in the provisions of this new law.

The State has posted guidance on the new law here.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 124