New York Bans Salary History Inquiries to Job Candidates

Monday, January 6, 2020

A new law enacted as part of the sweeping 2019 New York State legislative session will make it unlawful for an employer to ask a job applicant about his or her wage or salary history, or to rely upon such information when deciding whether to offer employment to the applicant.   
The law takes effect as New York Labor Law section 194-a on January 6, 2020.  The law applies to all employers in the state, public and private.  While the law prohibits employers from initiating an inquiry on the subject of an applicant’s salary history, it does not prevent the applicant from voluntarily disclosing salary or wage history information to the prospective employer “for the purpose of negotiating wages or salary”.  The new statute further allows an employer to seek confirmation of an applicant’s salary or wage history, but only where the applicant responds to a job offer by providing wage or salary history to support a wage or salary higher than offered by the employer. 
The new statute further recognizes that job applicant alleging a violation of the law may pursue such claims in a civil action and may be awarded compensation, injunctive relief and/or attorneys’ fees if successful. 

Please contact any of our attorneys in our Labor and Employment Law practice group should you have any questions regarding the recent amendments or need any compliance assistance.  


Richard J. Andino
Dennis P. Hennigan
Melinda B. Bowe
John R. Langey
Christopher M. Militello
Michael A. Tremont

Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC has provided expert and diverse legal services to Syracuse and surrounding communities for more than 100 years.