New York state agencies have faced legal restrictions when requesting salary history from its applicants for employment since 2017. Starting January 6, 2020, all New York employers will be subject to a salary history ban.
Governor Cuomo signed S6549 into law on July 10, 2019, which was designed by the state’s lawmakers to prevent wage discrimination among New York employees. In attempt to accomplish this goal, New York will now prohibit all employers from requiring applicants to provide their salary histories before they will be interviewed, employed, or promoted by the employer or as a condition to continued employment with the employer. Additionally, employers will be prohibited from retaliating against applicants who refuse to provide their salary history information.
New York is now one of thirteen states that have enacted some form of salary-ban legislation for private employers. Many of these state laws allow employers to confirm volunteered salary history after an offer of employment has been made, regardless of the applicant’s reason for volunteering the information. However, New York employers will only be allowed to confirm volunteered information if the applicant uses his or her own salary history as a basis for demanding a higher salary during wage negotiations after an initial offer has been made to the applicant.
New York employers who request wage or payroll documents as a way to verify past employment will want to be sure to instruct applicants to redact the wage information before providing any such document to the employer.
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