Private Sector Employers in NYC Banned From Asking a Job Applicant's Salary History

Last year, New York City’s Public Advocate Letitia James released a report stating that women in New York City earn approximately $5.8 billion less than men in wages annually.[1]  As such, in a groundbreaking effort to break the cycle of gender pay inequality, the New York City Council passed legislation on April 5, 2017, prohibiting employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s current and prior salary history.  Prospective employees, however, are not prohibited from providing their salary history voluntarily to the employer.  In addition, if a job applicant’s salary history becomes otherwise known to the employer during the recruitment process, the employer would be prohibited from relying on the job applicant’s salary history to determine the employee’s compensation when extending the job offer.

Designed to help level the playing field between men and women in the workforce, the legislation is expected to impact approximately 3.8 million workers in public and private sectors in New York City.

Mayor de Blasio has already signed a similar executive order in 2016 banning City agencies from inquiring about a job applicant’s salary history.[2]  Moreover, the Mayor has indicated that he intends to support this latest legislation extending protections to employees seeking work in the private sector.[3]  The bill would become effective six months after enactment.

To understand how this new bill will impact your hiring and recruitment efforts in New York City, please contact an experienced labor and employment attorney.


[1] New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, Policy Report: Advancing Pay Equity in New York City: An Analysis of the Gender Wage Gap in New York City’s Workforce, April 2016, available at

[2] Press Release, New York City Office of the Mayor, Mayor de Blasio Signs Executive Order Banning City Agencies from Inquiring About Salary History of Job Applicants (Nov. 4, 2016), available at

[3] Id.

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