Legal Alert: New York Wage History Ban

Effective January 6, 2020, all New York employers will be prohibited from asking current or prospective employees about their wage or salary histories.

The new law prohibits employers from asking certain wage-related questions, particularly during the hiring process, and from engaging in certain conduct.  Examples of prohibited conduct include:

  • Relying on an applicant’s wage history when making a decision about whether to offer employment or to determine the applicant’s pay;
  • Asking an applicant or a current employee to disclose their wage history as a condition of being interviewed, employed, or promoted;
  • Asking a third party to disclose an applicant or current employee’s wage history;
  • Refusing to hire, promote or employ an applicant or current employee because they fail to disclose their wage history; and/or
  • Retaliating against an applicant or employee because of their wage history, their refusal to provide their wage history, or because they filed a complaint related to a violation of the new law.

The law will allow for an applicant or current employee to disclose their wage history, and for an employer to verify that wage history, so long as such disclosure or verification is voluntary on the part of the applicant/employee and was done without prompting by the employer. So, for example, it is permissible for an applicant to disclose past wage history in an effort to negotiate their salary, and it is permissible for an employer to verify wage history in that context.

What Should You Do Now?

  • Train managers and human resources staff on the requirements of the new law.
  • Review your employment applications and any other documentation used in the hiring process to ensure compliance with the new law.

If you have questions about any of the information in this legal alert, please contact
Pro Bono Partnership at 914-328-0674.