By Amy L. Varel 

Effective January 9, 2020, New York Employers are prohibited from requiring or requesting wage or salary history from employment applicants and current employees.  Proponents of this new law argue that using past compensation to make future employment decisions perpetuates existing pay disparities among women and minorities. 

New York Employers also may not seek or obtain wage or salary history from a third party such as a former employer.  However, a New York employer may ask an applicant for their salary expectations rather than asking what the applicant earned in the past.  An applicant or current employee may also voluntarily, without prompting, disclose or verify wage or salary history for the purposes of negotiating wages or salary. 

An applicant or current or former employee that believes that an employer has violated this law may file a claim with the New York State Division of Labor Standards or bring a civil action against an employer.  A prevailing applicant or employee may be awarded attorney’s fees.

New York employers should review their job applications, employee handbooks and other policies to ensure compliance.  Employers should also ensure that hiring personnel are trained to ensure compliance with the new law.

For assistance with these matters, please contact a member of our labor and employment practice.

This publication is intended as an information source for clients, prospective clients, and colleagues and constitutes attorney advertising. The content should not be considered legal advice and readers should not act upon information in this publication without individualized professional counsel.

About MCCM

McConville Considine Cooman & Morin, P.C. is a full-service law firm based in Rochester, New York, providing high-quality legal services to businesses and individuals since 1979.  With over a dozen attorneys and a full paralegal support staff, the firm is well-positioned to right-size services tailored to each client. We are large enough to provide expertise in a broad range of practice areas, yet small enough to devote prompt, personal attention to our clients.

We represent a diverse range of clients located throughout New York State and New England.  They include individuals, numerous manufacturing and service industry businesses, local governments, and health care professionals, provider groups, facilities and associations. We also serve as local counsel to out-of-state clients and their attorneys who have litigation pending in Western New York courts.  For more information, please contact us at 585.546.2500.