Salary history questions are now illegal in NYC

By Jack Tuckner, Esq.

Great news for gender pay equality. Beginning this Halloween, October 31st, 2017 – New York City has a brand new law – the first in the nation that prohibits asking about salary history in a job interview. If you are applying for a position in New York City (whether the position in fact involves working in the New York City or outside of the city), if the interview takes place in the city, it is illegal – employers are prohibited from prompting you, asking you, asking your prior employer, searching for publicly available information about your past salary history in order to pay you, based on what it [the employer] thinks you’re worth, because of past gender pay discrimination.

It now must determine what the job is worth, not what you’re worth, and women earn 77 cents roughly for every dollar a man earns for performing comparable work, and in New York City, women earn annually 6 billion (with a “b”) dollars less than men for performing work that require substantially equal responsibility, effort, and skill. That is illegal, and now an employer can’t ask you about that, so don’t volunteer that information in a job interview. If an employer is asking about such salary information and you are in a position to document it by recording it, for instance – which is perfectly legal to do in New York even if an employer, or the person you are talking to doesn’t realize that you are recording that conversation – you will be able to hold your [prospective] employer accountable for violating the new Salary History Prohibition law in New York City.