New York City Approves Pay History Ban

Brittany E. Medio
Published April 19, 2017

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, the New York City Council approved legislation that will ban employers from requesting or using job applicants’ salary history when making hiring decisions. The law, known as Introduction 1253-A, makes it illegal for any employer and or employment agency in New York City to ask about a job applicant’s salary history, including benefits, or search any publicly available records to obtain such information.

New York City joins Massachusetts and the City if Philadelphia in banning the question from job interviews. More than 20 other city and state legislatures have introduced similar provisions. This legislation is intended to address gender-based wage disparities by eliminating the potential for discrimination based on previous salary.

It is possible that the measure in New York City could face legal challenges like other cities that have passed similar wage equity laws. For example, on April 6th, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce filed a federal lawsuit challenging that city’s ordinance.

Meanwhile, other companies in New York City, like Kickstarter, have begun privately ending the practice of asking the question on their own.

To see a prior blog post related to Philadelphia’s law, click here.