new york's salary history banOn July 10, 2019, New York State enacted a new law that prohibits all employers in the state from asking job applicants and employees about their past salaries or wages. Effective Jan. 10, 2020, the New York salary history ban also prohibits employers from seeking this type of information from other sources, such as an individual’s current or former employer, unless:

  • An offer of employment for a specified compensation amount has been made to the individual; and
  • The individual responded to the offer by providing prior pay information to support a higher compensation amount.

However, even if an individual voluntarily (and without prompting) provides his or her past pay information before an offer is made, employers may not rely on that information for any employment-related decisions affecting that individual.

Covered Employers

All employers in NYS must comply with the new prohibitions, effective Jan. 10, 2020. The law specifies that the term “employer” includes, but is not limited to, the following and their agents:

  • Every person, corporation, limited liability company (LLC), association, labor organization or entity that employs any individual in any occupation, industry, trade, business or service;
  • The state, the state’s political subdivisions and every other governmental entity; and
  • Every person, corporation, LLC, association or entity that connects applicants with employers.

Prohibited Actions

As of Jan. 10, 2020, the law prohibits employers from:

  • Relying on an applicant’s wage or salary history in determining whether to offer a job to the applicant or how much to pay him or her;
  • Seeking, requesting or requiring wage or salary history from an applicant or employee as a condition of employment or consideration for employment;
  • Retaliating against or refusing to interview, hire, promote or otherwise employ an individual based on his or her past wage or salary or because he or she has either refused to provide past wage or salary information or filed a complaint with the NYS Department of Labor against the employer; and
  • Except under specific circumstances, seeking, requesting or requiring an applicant or employee’s wage or salary history from his or her current or former employer (or its employees or agents).

Confirmation Exception

An employer may confirm an individual’s wage or salary history only if, at the time an offer of employment with compensation is made, the individual responds to the offer by providing prior wage or salary information to support a wage or salary higher than the amount offered by the employer.


Individuals who believe an employer has violated the new law may file a civil lawsuit against the employer. If a court finds that an employer has violated the law, it may order the employer to pay the plaintiff’s actual damages and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Employers can be prepared when this ban takes effect by:

  • reviewing all hiring procedure practices, applications, employee advancement practices, and other policies to ensure any verbiage regarding salary history is removed
  • making sure all staff involved with applicant recruitment, hiring, and advancement are familiar with the law and are trained accordingly
  • ensuring compliance with New York’s Equal Pay law, and if applicable, New York City’s salary history ban or the similar law in Albany County

iSolved, GTM’s human capital management solution, makes it easy to comply with hiring regulations. You can customize application and interview questions to exclude anything prohibited by law, and save valuable time by using templates with compliant language built-in. You’ll spend less time finding the right talent for your team, and even less time worrying about compliance. Request a free demo today to see how GTM can help your business grow.


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