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 firstname.lastname@example.org.