Tuesday, September 10, 2019

NEW YORK STATE BAN ON SALARY BACKGROUND CHECK

Governor Cuomo signed S6549 into law on July 10, 2019, which was designed by the state’s lawmakers to prevent wage discrimination among New York employees. In attempt to accomplish this goal, New York will now prohibit all employers from requiring applicants to provide their salary histories before they will be interviewed, employed, or promoted by the employer or as a condition to continued employment with the employer. Additionally, employers will be prohibited from retaliating against applicants who refuse to provide their salary history information.
 
   "Labor Law  § 194-a. Wage or salary history inquiries prohibited.       
    1. No employer  shall:
    a.  rely  on the wage or salary history of an applicant in determining
  whether to offer employment to such individual  or  in  determining  the
  wages or salary for such individual.
    b.  orally  or in writing seek, request, or require 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.
    c. orally or in writing seek, request, or require the wage  or  salary
  history  of  an  applicant  or current employee from a current or former
  employer, current or former employee,  or  agent  of  the  applicant  or
  current  employee's  current  or  former employer, except as provided in
  subdivision three of this section.
    d. refuse to interview, hire, promote, otherwise employ, or  otherwise
  retaliate against an applicant or current employee based upon prior wage
  or salary history.
    e.  refuse to interview, hire, promote, otherwise employ, or otherwise
  retaliate  against  an  applicant  or  current  employee  because   such
  applicant  or current employee did not provide wage or salary history in
  accordance with this section.
    f. refuse to interview, hire, promote, otherwise employ, or  otherwise
  retaliate against an applicant or current or former employee because the
  applicant  or  current  or  former  employee  filed a complaint with the
  department alleging a violation of this section.
    2. Nothing in this section  shall  prevent  an  applicant  or  current
  employee   from   voluntarily,  and  without  prompting,  disclosing  or
  verifying wage or salary history, including but not limited to  for  the
  purposes of negotiating wages or salary.
    3.  An employer may confirm wage or salary history only if at the time
  an offer of employment with  compensation  is  made,  the  applicant  or
  current employee responds to the offer by providing prior wage or salary
  information  to  support  a  wage  or  salary higher than offered by the
  employer.
    4. For the purposes of this section, "employer" shall include but  not
  be  limited  to  any  person,  corporation,  limited  liability company,
  association, labor organization, or entity employing any  individual  in
  any  occupation,  industry,  trade,  business  or  service, or any agent
  thereof. For the purposes of this section,  the  term  "employer"  shall
  also  include  the  state, any political subdivision thereof, any public
  authority or any other governmental entity or  instrumentality  thereof,
  and  any  person, corporation, limited liability company, association or
  entity acting as an employment agent, recruiter, or otherwise connecting
  applicants with employers.
    5. An applicant or current or former employee aggrieved by a violation
  of this section may bring  a  civil  action  for  compensation  for  any
  damages  sustained  as  a  result  of  such  violation on behalf of such
  applicant, employee, or other persons similarly situated in any court of
  competent jurisdiction. The court may award injunctive relief as well as
  reasonable attorneys' fees to a plaintiff who prevails in a civil action
  brought under this paragraph.
    6. Nothing in this section shall be deemed  to  diminish  the  rights,
  privileges,  or  remedies of any applicant or current or former employee
  under any other law or regulation or  under  any  collective  bargaining
  agreement or employment contract.
    7.  This  section  shall not supersede any federal, state or local law
  enacted prior to the effective date of this section  that  requires  the
  disclosure or verification of salary history information to determine an
  employee's compensation.
    8.  The department shall conduct a public awareness outreach campaign,
  which shall include making information available  on  its  website,  and
  otherwise informing employers of the provisions of this section.
    * NB Effective January 6, 2020"


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