Blog

 
     

New York City Bans Employers from Asking about Salary History in Job Interviews

By Michael Klazema on 5/12/2017

On April 5, 2017, the New York City Council passed an ordinance that amends the administrative code by prohibiting employers from inquiring about or relying on a prospective employee’s salary history.  Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the ordinance on May 4, 2017, and it will go into effect 180 days from that date. The ordinance offers the rationale that, “the bill can reduce the likelihood that women will be prejudiced by prior salary levels and help break the cycle of gender pay inequity.” The ordinance makes it an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers to:

  • Inquire about the salary history of an applicant for employment; or
  • Rely on the wage 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.

Employers may discuss with the applicant their expectation with respect to salary, benefits, and other compensation, including but not limited to “unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit or have cancelled by virtue of the applicant’s resignation from their current employer.” If the applicant voluntarily discloses their salary history, the employer may verify the applicant’s salary history and use the salary history to determine the applicant’s salary, benefits, and other compensation.

The ordinance does not apply to:

  • Any action taken by an employer, employment agency, or employee or agent thereof, pursuant to any federal, state, or local law that specifically authorizes the disclosures or verification of salary history for employment purposes, or specifically requires knowledge of salary to determine an employee’s compensation;
  • Applicants for internal transfer or promotion with their current employer;
  • Any attempt by an employer, employment agency, or employee or agent thereof, to verify an applicant’s disclosure of non-salary related information or conduct a background check, provided that if such verification or background check discloses the applicant’s salary history, such disclosure shall not be relied upon for purposes of determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation of such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract; or
  • Public employee positions for which salary, benefits, or other compensation are determined pursuant to procedures established by collective bargaining.

New York City is the second city in the country to ban employers from asking job applicants about their wage history in 2017, following in the footsteps of Philadelphia and the state of Massachusetts that passed similar legislation in 2016.

What This Means to You:

  • The ordinance applies to private sector employers in New York City.
  • Employers in New York City may not seek compensation history from job applicants (with some exceptions).
  • Employers may rely on the compensation history of the job applicant only when the applicant voluntarily discloses their wage history or when an exception explicitly permits it. 
The new ordinance is accessible here for review:
http://legistar.council.nyc.gov/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2813507&GUID=938399E5-6608-42F5-9C83-9D2665D9496F&Options=ID%7cText%7c&Search

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • April 19

    In a post-Penn State scandal world, universities are more aware than ever of the need to protect students by vetting faculty. The extent of this vetting and its implementation are hot topics causing controversy on campuses nationwide.


  • April 18 Amazon’s criminal background checks look back seven years and consider any convictions from that time. All finalists must complete criminal background searches, reference checks, and drug tests.
  • April 17

    From entry-level positions to roles involving “Top Secret” security clearances, military roles can involve a variety of different background investigations. We look at what different types of military background checks entail.


  • April 17 A new CNBC series is looking at true HR stories and their lessons. The most recent installment looked at the consequences of not running background checks.
  • April 12 Complicated by patchwork legislation and continuing federal prohibition, marijuana legalization poses several challenges for employers and would-be employees alike. Despite its legal status in a growing number of states, marijuana continues to negatively impact job-seekers.
  • April 12 Familiarizing yourself with the legality of background checks is essential. Continue reading about laws and regulations.
  • April 11

    Understanding the background check obligations in your industry and state.

  • April 10 A former employee of a senior assisted living community is facing charges for stealing from a resident. The alleged theft occurred after the employee gained access to the patient’s credit cards and checking account.
  • April 06 Background checks aren’t pass or fail. Employers consider various factors before making any hiring decision based on background check data.
  • April 06  Level 1 and Level 2 are terms used in Florida law to describe background check requirements for employers. We look at what a Level 2 background check entails.