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New York Salary History Ban

On July 10, 2019, the Governor also signed a law imposing a statewide ban on inquiries into an applicant’s or current employee’s salary history.

The new salary history law prohibits employers from asking applicants or current employees for their wage or salary history as a condition of consideration for employment or promotion, and from asking other employers for that information. Employers also cannot refuse to consider, employ, or promote an applicant or current employee based on their salary history or their refusal to provide their salary history.

The law also forbids employers from relying on salary history in setting an applicant’s pay rate but does not prohibit applicants from voluntarily disclosing such history, including for the purpose of negotiating their wages. The law allows an employer to verify an individual’s history if the applicant rejects an existing offer of compensation while citing his or her prior salary.

The salary history ban takes effect on January 6, 2020.

Next Steps

To prepare for compliance with this law, employers should be mindful of the following:

  • Refrain from making inquiries about a candidate’s prior salary.
  • Establish and document compensation for each position within the organization. While asking about the employee’s salary expectations is acceptable, best practice is to determine the salary range for each job and consider sharing pay scales with applicants and employees.
  • Review employment applications, and remove any questions related to prior salary history.
  • If applicable, update your handbook or any procedural documents to remove language regarding salary inquiries.
  • Train recruiters and hiring managers to address questions about compensation and ensure that they are not inadvertently inquiring about a candidate’s salary history.
  • When conducting reference checks, do not solicit or attempt to confirm an individual’s prior salary.

HR Works Can Help

Employers may engage the services of HR Works to obtain compensation benchmarking data. Subscribers of the HR Works Virtual Helpline receive five free compensation benchmarks per year. Employers that do not subscribe to the Virtual Helpline may request more information regarding compensation benchmarking by contacting the HR Works Virtual Helpline.

Helpline subscribers may request an updated employment application template from HR Works.

HR Works can also provide referrals for assistance with developing compensation plans and can provide training for recruiters and hiring managers related to hiring practices.

To request more information on compensation benchmarking, employment applications, compensation plans, or training contact the Virtual Helpline at 585-381-8340 Opt. 1 or via email at

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