Equal Pay Continues to Be a Focus for New York Legislatures
The New York legislature passed two laws that offer greater protection against wage discrimination. As employers, it is wise to stay abreast of new employment law amendments so you can ensure your business practices are up-to-date.
New Law with Provisions Against Wage Discrimination
The bill on wage differentials added provisions to labor law that further protect employees against wage discrimination. The law addressed “equal pay for equal work.” The usual protected classes for equal pay of age, race or gender now also include national origin, gender identity and express, military status, disability along with marital or family status and domestic violence victim status.
Criteria Used for Determining Equal Pay
According to the new bill, employers must pay workers based on the following criteria:
- Equal work performance involving equal skill, effort and responsibility
- Performance being done under similar working conditions
- Substantially similar work being done
The exceptions that are a legitimate basis for pay differences include:
- Seniority systems
- Merit systems
- Systems that measure earnings by quantity or quality of production
- Bona fide factors (not sex), such as education, training or experience
New Law Prohibiting Salary and Work Compensation Questions
This bill prohibits employers from doing the following:
- Relying on wage or salary history to determine whether to employ a job applicant
- Using wage or salary history to determine the employee’s wages or salary
In addition, employers must not ask for wage or salary history (orally or in writing) as a condition for:
- Interviewing the job applicant
- Considering whether or not to make a job offer
- Employing a job candidate
- Promoting an employee
Employers must not request the wage or salary history of an applicant or current employees from:
- A current employer
- A former employer
- An applicant’s agent
- An agent of the current employer or former employer
Employers also must not refuse to interview, hire, employ, promote or retaliate against an employee based on salary or wage history.
For further information about this law, see the NY Senate website.
At Stephen Hans & Associates, we inform employers about new employment laws, offer legal advice and represent them in employment disputes.