On May 4, 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law prohibiting employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history, which goes into effect on October 21, 2017. The Office of the Mayor hopes that preventing employers from asking questions during the hiring process about an applicant’s previous compensation—which is often used as a benchmark for a new employee’s starting pay—will end the “perpetuating cycle of suppressed wages” for minorities.
The new law prohibits an employer from asking about or using a job applicant’s compensation history to determine their salary during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract. An applicant’s salary history includes their current or prior wage, salary, benefits, or other compensation. Employers are still allowed to discuss expectations about salary, benefits, and other compensation with a job applicant. Further, if an applicant, voluntarily and without prompting, discloses their salary history to an employer, the employer may consider that information in determining the applicant’s salary, benefits and other compensation.