New York Salary History Ban Goes into Effect

This post was authored by Kaitlyn B. Rowe, J.D., AIC, Senior Claims Litigation Specialist at Rose and Kiernan, Inc.

In response to a flood of information on the gender wage gap and the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, the New York State Salary History Ban Law was passed. This is one of several new laws aimed at gender equality in the workplace. The most recent law, Labor Law Section 194-a was enacted to combat the salary wage gap between men and women. This law went into effect on January 6, 2020, and prohibits employers from inquiring about salary and compensation history of applicants and current employees. The law also prevents a prospective employer from asking a previous employer directly about an applicant’s salary.

The new law applies to both private and public employers, and it applies to part-time, seasonal and temporary employees. It also applies regardless of an applicant’s or employee’s immigration status. However, the law does not apply to independent contractors or freelance workers. Also, it does not “supersede any federal, state or local law enacted prior to the effective date of this section that requires the disclosure or verification of salary history information to determine an employee’s compensation.”

The Salary History Ban law also applies to current employees who are seeking a promotion or a new position within the company. Although, an employer may use information already available, such as a current employee’s current salary information. Lastly, if an applicant provides their salary information on a voluntary basis, a prospective employer may use that information in determining salary and compensation.

It is important for public and private employers throughout New York state to review all of their job applications, job postings and interview processes to ensure compliance with the law.

If a claim is filed by a prospective or current employee alleging retaliation for refusing to disclose salary information, be sure to contact your insurance broker to place your Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) policy on notice.

For more information on this topic, please contact Rose & Kiernan, Inc. here or by calling 800-242-2433.

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