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How Do I Comply with the NYC Compensation History Inquiry Law?

October 29th, 2017

As a New York City based employer, or an employer that conducts interviews and hires employees in New York, you are subject to the compensation history inquiry ban that goes into effect on October 31, 2017.

This law aims to end the wage gap that leads to perpetual underpayment throughout the lifetime of an individual’s professional career.  But other than avoiding asking candidates about their salary, what do you really need to do in order to protect yourself and your business?

Talener has taken steps in order to ensure that we go above and beyond the law (and beyond our NYC office), embracing its true intent – closing the wage gap.

While every employer will choose different steps towards complying with the new law, there are several ways in which your organization can address the law head-on, mitigating the risk of non-compliance.

  • Removing compensation questions from all application documents. This includes questions about bonus, equity, retirement benefits, etc.
  • Refraining from asking candidates for pay stubs, W2s, or any other document that would indicate their compensation
  • Not seeking out compensation information via public search, background checks, or candidate-supplied references
  • Creating marketing / informational materials about the law that are easily accessible to candidates
  • Implementing internal procedures that indicate how an employee should document a candidate’s compensation if it has been voluntarily disclosed
  • Ensuring that any compensation documentation has been logged electronically and include a time and / or date stamp
  • Training and re-training all levels of staff; including senior-managers and executives
  • Requiring junior staff  to have a senior-level employee with them during the interview or negotiation process
  • Openly asking candidates not to share their compensation history with you or your staff
  • Openly informing candidates that you will not be documenting, sharing, or using any disclosed compensation history in any way
  • Requiring candidates to sign a disclosure agreement about how you can use their volunteered information

Ultimately, these steps help to safeguard your organization and can help to make the difference if a complaint is filed.  Penalties vary for offenses, but can be severe if the NYC Commission on Human Rights determines that the non-compliance was malicious or was due to neglect on the company’s part.  This law is the first of many that are cropping up around the country.  Similar laws go into effect next year in California, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

If you have an questions about the steps that Talener has taken to prepare for the law, please feel free to reach out to



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Posted in Client News, Talener Blog

Talener Prepares for New York Salary History Inquiry Ban

October 26th, 2017

While there are only a few days left before the New York City Salary History Inquiry Ban goes into effect, Talener has been preparing for its enforcement for the past several months.

In May, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an amendment into law barring employers or staffing agencies in New York City from asking candidates for their compensation history.  Likewise, those who represent companies with jobs based in New York City will be prohibited from asking candidates about their compensation history.  This includes base, bonuses, equity, etc.

In an open letter, Talener CEO, Michael Dsupin addressed the true intent of this law: closing the wage gap by ending perpetual underpayment that may follow someone throughout their career.  Beyond compliance and words of support, Talener has taken strides to embrace the law by exceeding requirements – applying it to the entire company, beyond New York City.

The following steps are being implemented across all six Talener offices:

  • Talener has introduced a company-wide policy to no longer ask candidates about their compensation history
  • Training is being provided to employees to ensure they fully understand this policy
  • Talener employees have read and agreed to upholding our policy of no longer asking about or recording past compensation history
  • Digital and print brochures outlining the law and our internal policy are available to all clients and candidates in our offices or upon request
  • Brochures geared at candidates explain why they should not disclose their compensation history to us at any point in the interviewing process
  • In the case that a candidate accidentally brings up their compensation history, Talener will inform them that this information will not be recorded or used
  • A time and date-stamped note will be added to Talener’s applicant tracking system in the event that a candidate does disclose their compensation
  • Compensation history that is already known (past candidates / past placements) will not be shared or used

We will continue to prepare and educate our staff, clients, and candidates about the steps we are taking to be compliant with the law.  But ultimately, Talener is embracing inclusive hiring practices and the value of closing the wage gap that this law addresses.

For more information about the law or to learn more about the steps we have taken, please contact us.

Posted in Company News, Talener Blog

Job Hopping Tolerance Wanes

October 23rd, 2017

Traditionally, the tech industry has been tolerant of engineers and developers who move from one position to another in a short period of time. Unemployment in software engineering and development stays steadily below the national average; allowing employees to move from role-to-role, in what would be traditionally long-term positions.  But the tides are turning.  Alicia Scully, Director of Talener New York, explains that a shift is on the horizon: job-hopping tolerance in tech is waning.

Nap rooms, gourmet coffee bars & in-house massages don’t top the list of perks that keep engineering employees happy and engaged.  Scully regularly receives feedback from her candidates – and the echo is resounding: skills & purpose.  There is a strong desire to do something meaningful and to be challenged through their tech skills.  This includes learning new technologies on-the-job. Tech advances occur so rapidly that it is very easy to fall behind peers if skills are not being mastered and then adapted to the next technology.  A stagnant tech stack leads to lack of challenge, lack of learning, and ultimately the opportunity for employees to find a reason to go elsewhere.

“All else equal: salary, perks, location – potential employees will choose the position with the best, or potentially best technology stack for them,” says Scully. “Being challenged, staying technologically relevant, and doing purposeful work are good indicators of employee engagement.”

She explains that sometimes the job-jumping can be explained when an engineer moves from one contract position to another.  This has been commonplace in tech organizations; but companies that are just starting to build out internal technology teams may hesitate to hire these types of candidates for permanent positions.

“I’ve been receiving more and more push back from hiring managers about candidates with ‘jumpy’ backgrounds.  They are not as open to hire someone with short stints at their jobs,” articulates Scully. To sharpen their skills, an employee needs to feel as if they are learning and producing something useful to them in the short and long-term.  All of the unlimited snacks in the world won’t keep an engineer from leaving their role if it doesn’t further their professional skill set.

This shift towards wanting stable employees had spurred increased contract and contract-to-hire positions.  By turning the tables, organizations can hire employees without the burdens of a permanent role. And, when they leave their contract – there is no negative ripple effect that occurs with a layoff or termination.  Both parties get to test the waters, and there is no obligation on either end to extend the relationship.

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor & Statistics estimated that tenure in professions such as legal, engineering & management was approximately 5.1 years. However, permanent roles can inhibit those who are driven to keep up on new technologies.  Companies with legacy software or systems that require maintenance rather than new development may find it hard to retain engineers who thrive on learning new skillsets.

“Only time will really tell if this trend continues,” says Scully. “But the shift towards more contract-based employment seems to be creating a balance that both sides are seeking.”

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Posted in Current Events, Talener Blog

NYC: Salary History Ban Rules Take Effect October 31

October 16th, 2017

Rules regarding the New York City Salary Inquiry History Ban were released last week.  These rules solidify the amendment to the NYC Administrative Code, which bans employers based in NYC from inquiring about a candidate’s compensation history.  The amendment, which will go into effect on October 31st, 2017, strives to close the gender wage gap.

Since the signing of the bill in May, Talener has taken strides to eliminate compensation history from our daily practices.  This reflex of asking about past compensation is something that Mike Dsupin, CEO of Talener, addressed in his open letter in May. All Talener locations across the country have moved towards eliminating past compensation history from the equation in order to level the playing field.

Over the past 6 months, employers in New York City have been encouraged to change interview and hiring processes that require compensation history ahead of the law’s effective date. This includes applications, on-boarding documents, and interviews.  Likewise, searching publicly available records with the intent of learning about past compensation history is also prohibited. Failure to comply with the new law can bring substantial fines or violations.

  • How do staffing agencies fit into the law?
    Staffing agencies located in New York are also required to comply with the new rules.  Staffing agencies that act as the employer or as agents between an employer and a candidate will need to adjust their application and interviewing practices as well.
  • What if I’ve worked with a staffing agency before and they already know my compensation history?
    If the history is already known, agencies cannot share this information with an employer without written consent from the candidate.
  • The staffing agency is located in New York City but the role and company are outside of NYC. How does this work?
    Interviews conducted in New York City are pursuant to the law.  However, employers and roles located outside of NYC (i.e. New Jersey) are not subject to the law.  While the NYC staffing firm cannot ask about compensation history, the NJ based-employer is exempt.

The adoption of the New York City Salary History Inquiry Ban is only the tip of the iceberg.  The state of California as well as the state of Massachusetts have also enacted similar bans to take effect in January of 2018 and July of 2018, respectively.  These laws are part of a broader initiative to eliminate a life-long gender wage gap.

Detailed information regarding the NYC law can be found on the NYC Commission on Human Rights FAQ.  If you have any questions about working with Talener or how this law will affect you, please reach out to us with any questions. Talener is excited to continue our efforts in closing the gender wage gap and promote inclusive hiring practices.

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Posted in Talener Blog

ACT-W Chicago Conference 2017

October 10th, 2017

Talener is excited to sponsor ChickTech’s ACT-W Conference in Chicago on October 18th – 20th.  Talener will join companies like Microsoft, Walgreens, VistaPrint & Uptake in contributing to this event geared at empowering women in technology roles. This regional event will bring women and men together for workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, networking events, and a career fair.   From engineers to designers, executives to technical support; ACT-W strives to open the dialogue between the best and the brightest across industries.

The event will kick off on October 18th with a She Started It documentary panel & discussion.  She Started It looks at how females are under-represented in entrepreneurship, highlighting these challenges and the need to find solutions to overcome barriers.  October 19th features a kick-off party the night before the main conference.  The networking happy hour is a great way for people to get to know one another before the main event.  The main conference event takes place at The Chicago School on 10/20. It will include a full day of workshops, sessions, an exhibit fair, and networking.

Tiffany Roesler, Talener’s VP of Leadership & Organizational Development will speak on 10/20 at the Chicago School about “Busting Myths & Negotiating with Style.”

Talener is proud to be a part of this event. It strives to elevate women in technology while promoting STEM-based activities and careers to girls. For the second year, proceeds from the ACT-W Chicago conference will go towards providing STEM education programs to local high school girls through ChickTech.

To attend or to learn more about the event, please visit the Chicago ACT-W Website. We looking forward to seeing you at the event and at the career / exhibit fair!

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Posted in Events, Talener Blog

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