new york's equal pay lawBeginning Oct. 8, 2019, New York’s Equal Pay Law will prohibit employers from paying different wages to employees solely because they belong to a protected class. This means that employers must pay the same wages to employees who perform substantially similar work. However, the law also allows wage differentials based on one of the following factors:

  • A merit system;
  • A seniority system;
  • A system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; and
  • A bona fide factor other than status within one or more protected classes, such as education, training, or experience.

Protected classes in New York are groups based on the following characteristics:

  • Age
  • Color
  • Creed
  • Disability
  • Domestic violence victim status
  • Familial status
  • Gender expression
  • Gender identity
  • Marital status
  • Military status
  • National origin
  • Predisposing genetic characteristics
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Under this new law, employers could be penalized by the New York Department of Labor up to $500 for each violation of paying different rates for protected classes. Employees can also file lawsuits against employers for such violations.

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Source: “New York Adopts Equal Pay Law” by Zywave

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