- Starting today, employers in New York City are prohibited from asking job applicants (or their current or former employers) about their previous earnings or benefits, according to the city's Commission on Human Rights.
- The new law, which passed in April, also forbids employers from searching public records to learn about applicants’ current or prior compensation or relying on that information (if inadvertently discovered) to set pay.
- Businesses may, however, ask about a candidate's salary expectations and verify and consider current or prior earnings or benefits if the applicant offers that information voluntarily and without prompting, the city says.
New York City joins at least 10 other states and cities, including California, that are trying to use this tactic to reduce pay discrimination.
Some, however, have met resistance. Philadelphia was the first to pass a such a law, but a local business group sued and the city agreed to a temporary stay while the litigation is ongoing. Illinois also attempted to enact a ban but its governor vetoed the bill.
For employers in states and cities with bans in effect, attorneys recommend that you update your job applications to remove questions about pay and train everyone involved in the hiring process on these new requirements.