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New York Enacts Law Prohibiting Inquiry and Reliance on Salary History Data


New York Enacts Law Prohibiting Inquiry and Reliance on Salary History Data

Key Takeaways:

  • New York State Legislature enacted a law prohibiting inquiry and reliance on salary history data when hiring, promoting, or retaining an employee

  • Law also includes anti-retaliation provisions, forbidding employers from retaliating against applicants and employees regarding wage or salary

  • Gov. Cuomo is expected to sign the law, making it effective 180 days after signing

The New York State Legislature enacted a law that bans both public and private sector employers from inquiring and/or relying on an applicant’s or current employee’s salary history, when making decisions regarding hiring, promotion, or retention. Gov. Cuomo is expected to sign the law, which will become effective 180 days after signing.

The law will amend New York Labor by creating Section 194-a, and is an expansion of laws already enacted in other states, as well as other municipalities within New York, including New York City, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Albany County.

New York Labor 194-a also includes anti-retaliation provisions that forbid employers from:

  • Retaliating against applicants and employees based on their prior wage or salary history
  • Not providing wage or salary history in accordance with Section 194-a
  • Filing a complaint with the department of labor alleging a violation of Section 194-a

The law does provide for certain exceptions, including an applicant or employee is permitted to voluntarily, without prompting, disclose salary history for purposes of negotiating raises and an employer may confirm wage or salary history if at the time of an offer of employment the employee or applicant provides such information while negotiating a higher salary. The law does not supersede any federal state, or local law enacted prior to the effective date that requires disclosure or verification of salary history to determine an employee’s compensation.

Applicants and employees who are aggrieved by a violation of the law may bring a civil action for monetary damages. Courts may award injunctive relief as well as attorneys’ fees to a plaintiff who prevails on such claim.

Employers in New York should begin to review their hiring practices now, including updating their employment applications and training their managers on the requirements of New York Labor Law 194-a.

If you have any questions on how this impacts you or your business, please contact: