New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law a bill that will make it unlawful for private employers to inquire into or rely upon job applicants’ wage history during the hiring process, with limited exception. The law will take effect on October 31, 2017.

As we previously reported, the law prohibits employers, employment agencies, and their agents from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history, and/or relying on an applicant’s salary history in determining the salary, benefits or other compensation for that applicant during the hiring process, including as part of the negotiation of a contract.

There are certain carve outs, however, including that employers may:

  • consider (as well as verify) salary information for the purpose of formulating salary, benefits and compensation where a prospective employee voluntarily and without prompting discloses his or her salary history; and
  • without inquiring about salary history, engage in discussion with an applicant about his or her expectations with respect to salary.

The law further will not apply in certain circumstances, including in the case of an internal transfer or promotion with a current employer or where disclosure or verification of salary history is required by law.

Employers should begin taking steps to inform their recruiters, hiring managers, human resources personnel, and others involved in the interview and hiring process of the new prohibition on salary history inquiries. Employers should further review their job applications and other hiring documents to ensure that prohibited salary inquiries are not included in these materials.