February 6, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 37

Error message

  • Warning: Undefined variable $settings in include_once() (line 135 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/default/settings.php).
  • Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include_once() (line 135 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/default/settings.php).

February 03, 2023

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

New York State Issues Guidance on Salary History Ban

On January 6, 2020, New York State's salary history ban became effective. Under this new law, employers may not ask a job applicant, or anyone else, for any information concerning an applicant's salary history. Moreover, salary history may not be used to decide whether to interview an applicant, whether to offer the applicant the job, or what salary to offer.

In order to help employers bring their practices into compliance with the new law, New York State released a Q&A style guidance clarifying several important aspects of the law. First, the guidance helpfully defines the term "applicant" as "someone who took an affirmative step to seek employment with the employer and who is not currently employed with that employer," including part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, regardless of immigration status. If an applicant is currently employed by the employer, the employer may consider salary history information already in its possession, however, the employer still may not ask about the applicant's previous pay from other jobs.

The guidance also clarifies that an applicant may voluntarily disclose salary information to a prospective employer, so long as the disclosure comes without any prompting from the employer. In the event an applicant does voluntarily disclose salary information, the employer may consider that information when deciding what salary to offer the applicant. Note, though, that employers may not attempt to pose an “optional” salary history question on a job application to circumvent the law.

All New York employers should review their job applications and onboarding processes, and train hiring personnel, to ensure compliance. As the guidance suggests, employers must eliminate questions about past salary from all job applications and even consider proactively stating in job postings that the company does not seek salary history information from job applicants.

© 1998-2023 Wiggin and Dana LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 14

About this Author

Mary Gambardella Litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana

Mary brings decades of experience in helping clients comply with ever-changing labor laws and regulations, as well as in managing employment challenges such as sensitive terminations, sexual harassment, reductions in workforce, discrimination claims, and severance agreements. She is a proactive resource for clients seeking her counsel on a variety of human resource issues before they become a costly crisis, as well as a fierce advocate when crises arise.

Mary is Chair of the firm’s Labor, Employment and Benefits Department and regularly represents employers in...

+1 203 498 4382
Lawrence Peikes Employment litigation lawyer Wiggin Dana

Larry represents the interests of management in all aspects of the employer-employee relationship and is particularly experienced in litigation defense. He has advocated for employers in a wide range of employment cases—before arbitrators, mediators, and government agencies as well as in state and federal courts. In a field where most attorneys rarely appear before a judge, let alone a jury, Larry has successfully tried cases on both the federal and state levels. Despite his extensive courtroom experience, Larry is first and foremost dedicated to finding the best, most...

Amanda Brahm Employment Attorney Wiggin and Dana

Amanda is an Associate in Wiggin and Dana's New Haven office.

Before joining Wiggin and Dana, Amanda was an intern in the Data Privacy and Security Department at the Office of the Attorney General in Hartford, as well as a summer associate at Wiggin and Dana.

Amanda received her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, where she served as the Senior Notes and Comments editor for the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property and received CALI Awards for Excellence in Conflicts of Law,...

203 498 4397