Say Goodbye to Salary History: New Bill Combats Gender Pay Gap in NYC

New York City took a bite out of the gender pay gap this year by dismantling a destructive employment practice that encourages pay disparities between men and women. Mayor Bill de Blasio took a crucial step in doing this in May when he signed a new bill that makes it unlawful for an employer to ask an applicant what he or she makes or has made at a prior position. This action, according to de Blasio, “fixes a broken history” that has “held people back” in the past.

The new law addresses the issue of unequal pay by requiring New York City employers to alter their hiring practices and create salaries for prospective employees that more adequately reflect their skill rather than what they were paid in the past.

Historically, women were given a salary that was commensurate with the position they held and compensation they received in the past, which was more than likely reflective of their gender, and therefore, less than a male colleague. Employers at different companies used this practice when hiring women, who continued to receive salaries that were not equal to what they were owed.

This law comes at a time when companies, including Silicon Valley tech giants like Google, are under fire for their unfair and sexist payment practices. Currently, Google is facing an investigation by the Department of Labor for their discriminatory pay practices that have “systematically” compensated women at a lesser rate than male employees.

There is no telling how widely this law will influence larger policy goals on a national scale, but since this bill significantly changes the hiring practices of one of the largest labor markets in the country, the belief is that other states, cities and industries will follow suit. With this new law, New York City joins Massachusetts and Philadelphia, who have already implemented similar laws that prohibit employer inquiries about salary history. The bill takes effect October 2017, but keeping an eye out for unfair hiring practices is the first step to combatting the gender pay gap in the meantime. If you suspect you are a victim of wage discrimination based on gender, the Law Office of Christopher Q. Davis can assist you in your fight for equal pay. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930.