Effective October 31, 2017 Employers in New York City Can No Longer Ask About an Applicant’s Salary History



Effective October 31, 2017 employers in New York City are prohibited from asking applicants in an interview or on an application to provide their current or past salaries, benefits, or other compensation.

This new law applies to all employers of any size that are hiring job applicants in New York City.

Benefits and other compensation include items, including without limitation: car allowance, retirement plans, bonuses.

Employers are also prohibited from doing any investigation into the applicant’s salary history by speaking with third parties, the applicant’s current or former employer or searching public records. If an employer come by this information, the employer cannot use the information in making a decision as to hiring the applicant.

Employers cannot ask applicants about the amount of commissions earned, but can ask objective indicators of performance, like volume, value or frequency of sales.

Employers may ask about deferred compensation and/or equity the applicant may have to forego to take the position, as well as the value and structure of the deferred compensation and/or equity and may request documentation to verify the applicant’s representation and consider this information when making an offer to the applicant.

Employers can ask applicants about their compensation expectations or about other offers the applicant may currently have pending including the value of these offers

The law does not apply to applicants applying for internal transfer or promotion within their current employer.

The law does not apply to those in public sector jobs in which salary is governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

Employers are free to ask about a person’s salary history after the person has already been hired. The law only governs the hiring process and does not speak to inquiries made after a person has been hired and is working for the employer.

Employers found to be in violation of the new law may be required to pay damages and/or fines and/or may be subjected to mandatory trainings.

For more information visit the New York City Salary History Frequently Asked Questions by using the following link: www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/media/salary-history-frequently-asked-questions.page  

The goal of the new law is to eliminate pay disparity and discrimination for women and minorities who may have been receiving lower salaries, benefits and other compensation. The new law affords an opportunity to break the cycle of inequity in the workplace by focusing on the applicant’s qualifications for the position.