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New York City employers can no longer ask for salary history from applicants

2017/04/12

by Daily News
The prohibition is meant to combat the pay gap between men and women — because backers say if a woman is underpaid at one job, she’ll end up being underpaid at the next one if pay is based on salary history.

“The wage gap in this city is cheating women out of $5.8 billion each year,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Asking for their previous salary information only perpetuates that discrimination. Being underpaid once should not condemn anyone to a lifetime of inequality.”

Job seekers will still be allowed to reveal their past salaries if they choose to.
The legislation, which was opposed by business groups, passed by a vote of 47-3.
“You’re inserting city law into the relationship between employer and potential employee in a way that is potentially disadvantageous to both, and it’s unclear that it’s going to make a difference in closing the gender gap — which we all agree should happen,” said Kathy Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City.

She said more transparency about salaries, rather than restrictions on sharing salary information, had a better chance of closing the gap.

Backers argued that pay should be based on a job’s duties, ideally with salaries posted with the job listing, though the bill stops short of requiring that.
“There is a position that has certain tasks. And there should be a salary for that position,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens). “It shouldn’t be someone (gets) paid based on what they’ve previously made.”

Wylde said that view misunderstands how pay is set in the private sector. “It’s a conversation and a negotiation that goes on, that I think is valuable,” she said.
Mayor de Blasio has already issued an order banning city agencies from asking applicants about their past salaries.
By Daily News