As of October 31, 2017, all New York City employers, regardless of their size, are prohibited from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history during the hiring process.

While the law continues to allow employers to engage in discussions with prospective employees about salary and benefits expectations, it is now an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer in New York City to:

  • inquire into the salary history of an applicant or
  • to rely on the salary history of an applicant to determine the salary, benefits, or other compensation during the hiring process.

The term “inquire” includes searching public records for an applicant’s compensation history.  It is important to note that inquiries would violate the law regardless of whether they are made before or after a conditional offer.  However, if a prospective employee volunteers such information, without prompting, the employer may consider it.  The New York City Commission on Human Rights has also included some guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions.

Best Practices Tip:  Employers in New York City should exclude any written or oral references to salary history, including compensation and benefits and train their hiring personnel accordingly to stay in compliance with the new law.  They should also keep detailed documentation on what factors besides salary history went into the salary offer decision.

Full text of the New York City law.

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