The Albany County, New York legislature recently unanimously voted to amend the Albany County Human Rights Law to ban employers from asking about a job applicant’s salary history. The law took effect December 17, 2017. With passage of this law, Albany County joins New York City, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, California and San Francisco on the ever-growing list of jurisdictions that ban inquiries into salary history.
In an amount sure to catch the attention of corporate general counsel – as well as raise their blood pressure – a class of sales representatives for an international pharmaceutical company recently settled their Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII gender pay discrimination collective and class claims for four million dollars (Barrett v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., 12-cv-05224 (S.D.N.Y.)) Despite the multi-million-dollar settlement amount announced on October 6, 2017, the employer still avoided substantial risk, as the total potential recovery was estimated at over 10 million dollars.
New York City employers will soon be prohibited from asking job applicants about their salary history. As a measure to address gender-based wage gaps, the New York City Council passed legislation earlier this year which prohibits employers from making inquiries about the salary history of a job applicant or relying on the salary history of an applicant in determining compensation. The law takes effect October 31, 2017. Details of the law are available here.