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New York City Passes Salary History Ban

The Mayor of New York City on May 4th signed into law the ban on Employers inquiring about a prospective job applicant’s prior salary history.  The Law will go into effect in 180 days on October 31, 2017.

This  ”Salary History Ban” makes it Illegal for any employer or employment agency in New York City to inquire about a job applicant’s salary history and employee benefits in the interview process.  This now makes it a discriminatory employment practice for an employer to:

  1. Inquire about the salary history of an applicant for employment, which includes either asking the applicant directly about his or her salary history or conducting a search of publicly available records or reports; or
  2. Rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining the applicant’s salary at any stage in the employment process, unless the applicant “unprompted” and “willingly” discloses his or her prior salary information.

The Law applies to all employers, both public and private.  The Law will go into effect on Halloween, October 31, 2017.  The New York City Commission on Human Rights, the agency charged with watching for discrimination in the five boroughs, will be enforcing the new law.  The commission will impose a civil penalty of up to $125 for an unintentional violation and up to $250,000 for an “intentional malicious violation”.

This prohibition is meant to take a bite out of the gender wage gap, the trend of the pay-equity movement.  Employers should be mindful of these new restrictions and evaluate how the new legislation may impact them.

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