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Salary history questions banned for new hires

Individuals who are seeking employment in New York City may be interested to know that employers will be prohibited from asking job applicants to provide a salary history. On April 5, City Council members voted 47 to 3 to pass a measure that addresses the differences in wages earned by women and men. The measure is applicable only to new hires, and does not apply to existing employees applying for a promotion or transfer or to public employees with salaries dictated by collective bargaining agreements.

It bars employers in the private and public sectors from using an individual's salary history as a factor in determining a new salary offer. According to the council member who brought forth the measure, one underpaid position can lead to a lifetime of low pay. She and the other council member who sponsored the bill cited studies showing that women usually earn less than men, which results in them also being cheated in their retirement benefits.

The National Partnership for Women and Families released a study on April 4, 2017, that indicates women in the state of New York earn 89 cents for each dollar men earn. The study also showed that the gap in pay is wider among minority women. Black women and Latina women working in New York tend to earn 66 cents and 56 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic white men.

An attorney who practices employment law may advise clients who have been victims of wage discrimination because of gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, age or national origin. A workplace discrimination complaint may be filed with the appropriate federal agency, and a lawsuit may be filed to obtain compensation for past and future wages.

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