Beginning October 31, 2017, employers in New York City will be prohibited from asking job applicants about their previous salary. The legislation is aimed at breaking the cycle of wage inequality affecting women and people of color by requiring employers to base compensation on the applicant’s qualifications, not previous salary.

Which businesses are covered by the law?

Any employer which employs at least one employee in New York City is covered.

What type of job applicants are protected by the law?

All new hires, regardless of whether they are applying for full-time, part-time, or internship positions are covered.  The law does not apply to an employer’s current employees applying for an internal transfer or promotion in the same company.

What is the employer banned from doing?

No Inquiry: Employers may not ask candidates about their salary history (previous salary, benefits, and other types of compensation) at any time in the hiring process.  Employers also may not search for this information on publicly available records nor obtain it from former employers.

No Reliance: Employers cannot rely on the salary history of the applicant at any stage in the employment process, including negotiating the contract.

What is the employer permitted to discuss?

Employers are still permitted to:

  • Ask about objective measures of the applicant’s productivity (e.g. revenue, sales, profits generated, etc.);
  • Ask what the applicant’s compensation expectations are for the position;
  • Discuss any unvested or deferred compensation that the applicant would forfeit by resigning from his or her current job;