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New York Expands Salary History, Equal Pay, and Race Discrimination Laws

The New York State Legislature has passed three bills that Governor Cuomo is expected to sign.

Salary History:  This new law will bar inquiries about an employee’s salary history, including prohibiting employers from requesting or relying on past salary when determining the prospective new employee’s salary amount; this applies to new applicants and employees within the company that are applying for new positions. In addition, employers will be prohibited from retaliating against an applicant who refuses to provide his or her salary history. If signed, this law goes into effect 180 days after enactment.

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Equal Pay: The new law will prohibit pay differentials that are based on any protected class status; this law will require equal pay for “substantially similar work” regardless of a person’s membership in any of the protected classes. This law will go into effect 90 days after being signed by the governor.

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Race Discrimination Based on Hair or Hairstyle: This new law amends the protected class “race” to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” Protective hairstyles include but is not limited to: “hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.” If signed, the change takes effect immediately.

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HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.