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"