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New rule bans salary questions in New York City

On April 5, the New York City Council voted 47-3 to ban New York City employers from asking about the salary history of prospective employees. This was done primarily in an effort to close the wage gap between male and female workers. The bill prohibits both public and private sector employers to use prior salary information to make a new salary offer.

One member of the council pointed out that being underpaid in one job could lead to being underpaid for an entire career. Furthermore, those who are paid less may also have fewer retirement benefits. According to one study, women in New York City were paid a combined $5.8 billion less than male workers.

A study conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families released on April 4 found that women in New York state make 89 cents for every $1 a man makes. Black women make 66 cents for every $1 a non-Hispanic white male makes while Latina women makes 56 cents per $1 a non-Hispanic male makes. The new law applies to new hires only, and it does not apply to those who have salaries negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Those who believe that they may have experienced employment discrimination based on their gender may wish to talk with an attorney. It may be possible to win a financial award as part of a negotiated settlement or as part of a formal jury award. A lawyer may point to corporate payroll information or employer statements to establish that an employee was paid less for the same job or received fewer benefits simply because of their gender.

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