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  • Paul F. Keneally

NY Employers Now Prohibited from Activities Related to the Salary History of Prospective Employees

With the turn of the calendar to 2020, New York employers are now specifically prohibited from a various activity related to prospective employees’ wage or salary histories (New York Labor Law Section 194-A). (Prospective employees in the statute are defined to include current employees seeking a promotion). The New York Legislature determined that prospective employees’ wage or salary history knowledge often resulted in lower salaries at their new jobs. Accordingly, going forward prospective employers may not:


  1. Rely on a prospective employee’s wage or salary history to determine whether to offer the person a position;

  2. Orally or in writing seek or require wage or salary history from a prospective employee;

  3. Orally or in writing seek or require wage or salary history from the current or former employer of a prospective employee;

  4. Refuse to interview or hire a prospective employee (or retaliate against him/her) based on wage or salary history;

  5. Refuse to interview or hire a prospective employee (or retaliate against him/her) based on the non-provision of wage or salary history;

  6. Refuse to interview or hire a prospective employee (or retaliate against him/her) because the prospective employee filed a complaint with the Department of Law alleging a violation of Section 194-A.

One exception to the general requirements of the new law is that if the prospective employee voluntarily discloses his or her wage or salary history at the time an offer of employment with compensation is made. The prospective employer may then verify that information with the prospective employee’s prior employer(s). An employee successfully bringing a civil claim for a violation of the new law will receive compensatory damages, as well as reasonable attorneys’ fees, and may also obtain injunctive relief ceasing the violation.


As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here or call us at 585.258.2800.

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