New York Governor Signs Bills Aimed at Combating Salary Inequality
New York’s equal pay law prohibiting wage differentials based on protected class status was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on July 10, 2019. The new equal pay law will be effective on October 8, 2019.
The Governor also signed into law a bar on employers inquiring about job applicants’ past salary history. The salary history law becomes effective on January 6, 2020.
The new law prohibits wage differentials based on protected class status. It will expand current law that protects against gender-based pay inequity by requiring equal pay for “substantially similar work” and prohibiting pay differentials based on a person’s membership in a host of protected class or classes, including age, race, sexual orientation, disability, and domestic violence victim status.
The new law bars inquiries about an employee’s salary history. It will prevent employers from orally or in writing requesting or relying on the wage or salary history of an applicant in determining whether to offer employment or the amount of salary to be offered. An employer cannot refuse to consider or retaliate against an applicant who refuses to divulge his or her salary history. The applicant may voluntarily provide this information if he or she is not coerced or promoted into doing so.