The equal pay law in New York applies to employees in New York, requiring co-workers who work under similar conditions, produce similar work results, and hold equivalent skills and responsibilities to be paid at the same rate. However, the pay comparisons only apply to employees who work in the same general geographical vicinity, such as the same city or sometimes the same county, since pay rates can be different because of the cost of living in the local region.
Are Pay Differentials Ever Legal in New York?
The principle of “equal pay for equal work” applies even when the job titles are different. What counts is the job’s work output or work product, and the level of responsibility, skill and education that is required to perform the position. Nevertheless, a pay differential in New York can be permissible under certain circumstances. For example, a higher pay rate may in some situations be lawful if it is based upon productivity, a seniority system or a merit system, or another legitimate factor (such as education, training, or prior work experience) that is not based on gender, race, age, disability or other protected characteristic.
Is Salary History Confidential In New York?
The New York Equal Pay Law prohibits employers from enforcing confidentiality restrictions on company pay rates or preventing an individual employee from disclosing his or her salary to co-workers. This means that employers are not permitted to stop or discipline employees from asking about or discussing their pay rate with their co-workers. Conversely, the New York Equal Pay Law bans inquiries by current or prospective employers into an applicant’s or employee’s salary history. This salary history ban prohibits employers from requesting or relying on the wage or salary history of an applicant or employee in making salary and hiring decisions. Nevertheless, employees are permitted, at their discretion, to voluntarily and without prompting disclose their salary history to negotiate their compensation (or for any other reason).
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Claudia Pollak, Esq. is an experienced Westchester and NYC-based employment lawyer representing employees facing discrimination, retaliation or wrongful termination because of their race, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender, or other protected characteristic. She also advises on executive severance agreements and restrictive covenants. Call her at 914-LAW-9111 (914-529-9111) for a free consultation.
Employees in Westchester County and other parts of New York state are protected from discrimination in employment based on a number of personal characteristics.
Some of our most vulnerable populations are experiencing increasingly stressful employment situations. In fact, many workers in America (up to 1 in 5) feel they work in a hostile or abusive work environment.
While many businesses have openly acknowledged the problems of discrimination and inequity facing black workers in America as a result of the Black Lives Matter movement, racial discrimination still regularly occurs in the workplace.
Whether your position is being eliminated in corporate downsizing, or you are getting laid off or fired for another reason, at some point in your life you may find yourself reviewing a severance agreement.
The last thing you need when you’re starting a family – or growing one – is financial uncertainty or the stress and anxiety that comes from becoming the target of discriminatory treatment at work because of your pregnancy.
New York Labor Law §194, requires that employees of a particular establishment be paid a wage that is equivalent to the wages paid to employees of the opposite sex, or of a different race or sexual orientation, or who are members of any other class of employees.
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