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10 November 2017

Tagged in: Audience 

New York City Introduces a New Salary History Ban

Beginning October 31, 2017, employers and employer’s agents in New York City will not be able to ask job applicants about their salary history or rely on the salary history of the applicant in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation of an applicant during the hiring, placement, or referral process. Several jurisdictions such as Delaware, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, have passed measures that limit an employer’s inquiry in an applicant’s salary history. However, the New York Salary History Ban is the first in the nation to take effect.

The law bans any means of a compensation related inquiry. This includes questions to the applicant or the applicant’s current or former co-workers for the purpose of obtaining the applicant’s compensation history. The law also prohibits a search of publicly available records, such as a Glassdoor salary search, to figure out the candidate’s compensation information. However, the law does let employers discuss and consider a candidates current and former compensation if the candidate voluntarily discloses it without being prompted.

So, who does the law apply to? The law applies to employers, employment agencies, and their agents in all five New York City boroughs. It protects individuals who apply for jobs that will be in New York City and individuals who have interviews in New York City. This applies even if the job will not be located in New York City. However, the law makes it clear that residency in New York City alone, without more, is generally not enough for an individual to be protected by this law. Further, the law does not apply to candidates who are internal transfers or up for promotions within a company that they are already employed by.

Employers who want to have meaningful conversations with job candidates but are accustomed to inquiring about and relying on past salary information will have to reframe the conversation and begin asking about the applicant’s salary expectations. When employers ask candidates about their desired or minimum compensation expectations, they can further ask the candidate to justify their desired compensation level based on their education, skills, training, experience, or any other factors demonstrative of a certain salary level.

We are advising hiring agents to revisit their recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes to make sure they are compliant with all the requirements of the new law. More detailed information about the New York City Salary History Ban and its compliance requirements can be found here.


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