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New York State Department of Labor announces implementation of new law to close gender wage gap in New York

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Sat, Dec 28th 2019 10:30 am

New ban prohibits employers from asking about salary history

The New York State Department of Labor announced the implementation of a new law that prohibits both public and private employers from asking about salary history. One of the pillars of the new law, which takes effect on Jan. 6, is New York employers cannot request job applicants provide wage or salary history as a condition of employment. Current employees do not have to provide their salary history from any outside employers. It also prevents businesses from seeking similar information from other sources.

“New York continues to be a leader in the fight for economic justice and advancing equality for women in the workplace,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “The salary history ban reinforces our commitment to breaking down the barriers that have hindered women for far too long.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “This law is another critical step toward reaching full gender equality and equitable pay for all. While New York currently has the narrowest wage gap in the nation, with women earning the equivalent of 89 cents to a man's dollar, that’s still an unacceptable gap. We have more work to do. This will help our state to move more quickly toward closing that gender wage gap and breaking this discriminatory cycle.”

In 2017, Cuomo directed the Department of Labor to study the causes, scope and economic impact of the gender pay gap in New York and issue policy recommendations to help close it. As part of the study, the Department of Labor conducted pay equity hearings in New York City, Syracuse, Long Island and Buffalo to solicit testimony identifying specific causes of the gender wage gap and suggestions on ways in which the wage gap can be closed, either in its entirety, or in particular industries. The study asserts the salary history ban will be an important step toward pay equity by virtually eradicating the impact of low wages or experience gaps that compound over time.

The report, available here, outlines the state of the gender pay gap in New York, including its scope across the economic spectrum and throughout each regions of the state.

The salary history ban is part of Cuomo’s 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda. The new law builds on the progress New York has made to improve reproductive, economic and social justice for all New York women.

The salary history ban will take effect on Jan. 6. For more information visit www.ny.gov/salaryban.

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