New state laws bar salary history inquiries, expands equal pay claims

New York State Capitol Building, Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law two bills meant to address wage and salary disparities in New York.

The first piece of legislation signed by Cuomo prohibits employers from asking potential employers about their wage or salary histories. The law states employers can no longer seek or request “the wage or salary history from an applicant or current employee as a condition to be interviewed, or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment, or as a condition of employment or promotion.” Additionally, businesses cannot ask an applicant’s previous or current employer about their salary history.

However, as noted in a recent blog post by the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King, the new law does not “prohibit an applicant from voluntarily disclosing their wage or salary history for the purpose of negotiating wages or salary.”

The law takes effect 180 days after the July 10, 2019 bill signing.

The second bill signed by Cuomo amends the labor law to prohibit wage differentials based on protected class status under the Human Rights Law, and creates a new standard for equal pay claims. As Bond explained in their blog: “The law now provides that no employee within a protected class shall be paid less than an employee who is not in the same protected class for equal work, or for ‘substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.’”

The law takes effect 90 days after the July 10, 2019 bill signing.

New York credit union leaders or employees who have questions about the new laws can contact the Association’s HR Consultant and Director of Member Relations Chris Pajak at (800) 342-9835, ext. 8188, or

For additional insights, view today’s New York’s State of Mind blog.

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