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S01136 Summary:

Amd §296, Exec L
Prohibits employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees; establishes a public awareness campaign.
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S01136 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 11, 2019
        Introduced  by Sen. BENJAMIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
          ment Operations
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting  employers
          from seeking salary history from prospective employees

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby finds  that  New
     2  York should lead the nation in preventing wage discrimination.
     3    The  wage  gap  between  men  and  women is one of the oldest and most
     4  persistent effects of inequality between the sexes in the United States.
     5    The 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights  Act  in  the  United
     6  States established the legal right to equal pay for equal work and equal
     7  opportunity. Yet half a century later, women are still subjected to wage
     8  gaps and paid less then men.
     9    The  concept  of  comparable worth attacks the problem of gender-based
    10  wage discrimination by mandating  that  jobs  characterized  by  similar
    11  levels of education, skill, effort, responsibilities, and working condi-
    12  tions  be compensated at similar wage levels regardless of the gender of
    13  the worker holding the job.
    14    The goal of pay equity is to raise the wages for undervalued jobs held
    15  predominantly by women.   Today, women make  only  77  cents  per  every
    16  dollar  earned  by  a  man for a comparable job, a gender wage gap of 23
    17  percent.
    18    This translates into thousands of dollars of lost wages each year  for
    19  each  female worker, money that helps them feed their families, save for
    20  a college education and afford decent and safe housing.
    21    Pay disparities affect women of all ages, races, and education levels,
    22  but are more pronounced for women  of  color.  Minority  women  make  as
    23  little as 54 cents per dollar for a comparable job held by a man.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 1136                             2
     1    Female-dominated  jobs pay twenty to thirty percent less than male-do-
     2  minated jobs classified as comparable in worth and more than one half of
     3  all women work in jobs that are over seventy percent female.
     4    Women are more likely to enter poverty in old age for several reasons:
     5  A  lifetime  of  lower  wages  means  women have less income to save for
     6  retirement, and less income that counts  in  their  Social  Security  or
     7  pension benefit formula.
     8    The  current  life expectancy for women means they will, on an average
     9  of three years, outlive men. Yet they will have to stretch their retire-
    10  ment savings, which are less to begin with,  over  a  longer  period  of
    11  time.
    12    The  existence  of  pay inequity is a manifestation of deep-seated sex
    13  discrimination that prevents both equality of pay for women and equality
    14  of opportunity for both sexes.
    15    More women in the United States  are  obtaining  college  degrees  and
    16  increasing  their  participation  in the labor force and family-friendly
    17  legislation, including the Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave  Act,
    18  and  Pregnancy  Discrimination  Act,  and policies such as flex time and
    19  telecommuting, have increased options to create a win-win situation  for
    20  women and their employers.
    21    Despite  the  progress,  women  continue to suffer the consequences of
    22  inequitable pay differentials: in  2010,  the  average  college-educated
    23  woman  working full-time earned $47,000 a year compared to $64,000 for a
    24  college-educated man.
    25    During 2012, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers  were
    26  $691,  compared  with  $854  per  week  for men, a gender wage gap of 19
    27  percent.
    28    Fair pay strengthens the security of families and eases future retire-
    29  ment costs while also strengthening the American economy.  In  order  to
    30  achieve fair pay, policymakers must enact laws that prevent gender based
    31  wage discrimination from when women enter the labor force.
    32    In  order  to  do  so,  it is necessary to prevent employers to base a
    33  woman's pay based on her  previous  pay  history.  Because  the  pay  is
    34  already  based  on  gender  discrimination,  allowing  pay history to be
    35  requested by employers is equivalent to maintaining a standard of  lower
    36  pay  for  women performing similar jobs as men.  This practice of asking
    37  for pay history must be outlawed.
    38    § 2. Section 296 of the executive law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    39  subdivision 19-a to read as follows:
    40    19-a.  (a)  It  shall  be  an  unlawful discriminatory practice of any
    41  employer, prospective employer, labor organization, employment agency or
    42  licensing agency, or employees or  agents  thereof,  to  seek  a  salary
    43  history  from  a prospective employee for an interview or as a condition
    44  for employment.
    45    (b) An employee or prospective employee may provide a  salary  history
    46  only for the purposes of negotiating an advanced salary.
    47    (c)  A  prospective  employer  may only confirm a salary history after
    48  obtaining written authorization by the  prospective  employee  and  such
    49  prospective employer must preserve proof of that authorization.
    50    §  3.  The department of labor, in conjunction with the New York state
    51  division of  human  rights,  shall  (a)  establish  a  public  awareness
    52  campaign, available on their respective websites, informing employers in
    53  the state that it is illegal to seek salary information from prospective
    54  employees;  and  (b)  collect  complaints  of  violations of section two
    55  hundred ninety-six of the executive law through their  toll  free  tele-
    56  phone number and provide data regarding the number of complaints and the

        S. 1136                             3
     1  regions  of  the  state  where  the  complaints  originate  in an annual
     2  required reporting on labor and human rights law violations.
     3    §  4.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
     4  have become a law.
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