Joining New York City, Albany County, and Westchester County, Suffolk County has become the latest jurisdiction in New York to pass a bill that prevents employers from inquiring into the salary and benefits history of job applicants.
Designed to establish pay equality and to “break the cycle of wage discrimination,” the Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings Act, or RISE Act, would prohibit any employer in Suffolk County from requesting or seeking the wage history (including the current or previous salary) of a prospective “new” employee during every stage of the hiring process. The bill also prohibits employers from conducting a search of publicly available records or reports for such information.
According to the bill’s Legislative Intent, using such information to establish salary or benefits for new employees perpetuates wage discrimination and the “wage gap” experienced by women, racial and ethnic minorities, and individuals who are returning to the workforce after an extended period. The legislation cites studies finding that women, along with ethnic and racial minorities, have historically encountered lower wages than their white male counterparts.
If County Executive Steve Bellone signs the RISE Act, it is expected to go into effect on or about June 30, 2019.
A long list of states and municipalities have already enacted pay history bans. See our articles, Massachusetts AG’s Office Issues Guidance on Equal Pay Law Set to Take Effect in July, New Jersey Governor Signs Pay Equity Bill into Law, Oregon Enacts Expansive Pay Equity Law, Puerto Rico Enacts Equal Pay Law, Prohibits Employers from Inquiring about Past Salary History, and Localities and the Salary History Ban: Next Stop, Westchester County, New York.