|SAME AS||No Same As|
|Amd §296, Exec L|
|Prohibits employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees; establishes a public awareness campaign.|
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1136 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. LBD03224-02-9S. 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 theS. 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.