What this is about:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a new bill (Int. No. 1253-A) prohibiting private employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history during all stages of the employment process.

Effective date:
October 31, 2017

What is prohibited:
Once the law becomes effective, it will be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer (which includes employment agency, or employee or agent thereof) to:

  • Inquire about the salary history (current and prior) of a job applicant
  • Rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining the salary, benefits or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract

“To inquire” means to communicate, in writing or otherwise, any question or statement to an applicant or an applicant’s employer (current, prior or agent thereof) or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history.

What is allowed:
An employer may, without inquiring about salary history, discuss the applicant’s salary, benefits and other compensation expectations. This includes, but is not limited to, unvested equity or deferred compensation that an applicant would forfeit by resigning from the current employer. Also, if an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history, the employer may consider such information in determining salary, benefits and other compensation, and may verify the applicant’s disclosure.

The law provides exceptions where federal, state or local law requires disclosure or verification of salary history for employment purposes, internal transfers or promotions, and public employee positions governed by a collective bargaining agreement.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights, the agency charged with enforcing the NYC Human Rights Law, will be enforcing this law. Civil penalties of up to $125,000 for an unintentional violation, and up to $250,000 for a “willful, wanton or malicious act” may be imposed.