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New Pay Equity Laws Take Effect Statewide

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Governor Cuomo has announced two new laws going into effect today (October 8) that further strengthen the state’s pay equity policies.

The new laws prohibit unequal pay on the basis of any protected class for all substantially similar work, while also forbidding employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history.

Cuomo also called on New York businesses to conduct internal reviews of their pay policies and make adjustments as necessary in accordance with these new laws.

“We are at a critical point in history when this country is finally recognizing the long-term discrimination against women and taking action to right the wrongs of an unfair system,” Governor Cuomo said. “There is no rational reason why women should not get paid the same as men, and these common sense measures will take us one step closer to true equality. Now it’s time for businesses across the state to take a hard look at their pay policies and ensure women employees get paid the same as their male colleagues if they are doing substantially similar work.”

All public and private employers who do business in New York State are now prohibited from asking prospective employees about their salary history and compensation. The new laws also expand the definition of “equal pay for equal work.”

These measures build on two executive orders signed by the Governor last year prohibiting state entities from evaluating candidates based on wage history and requiring state contractors to disclose data on the gender, race and ethnicity of employees.

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