LAW UPDATE FOR ALL EMPLOYERS IN SUFFOLK COUNTY:
The Suffolk County Legislature has adopted legislation prohibiting employers
from asking about a job applicant’s salary history at any point during the
- The law goes into effect on June 30, 2019.
- Under the law, an employer, employment agency, employee, or agent thereof
employing four or more persons may not:
o Ask a job applicant or an applicant’s former employer about a job
applicant’s wage or salary history, including but not limited to,
compensation and benefits.
o Conduct a search of publicly available records or reports to find out an
applicant’s salary history.
o Rely on an applicant’s salary history to determine the wage or salary
amount at any stage in the employment process.
- The stated purpose of the law is to combat pay inequity for women and minorities. However, the law applies to all applicants and prospective employees regardless of gender, race and/or or ethnicity.
- If an applicant voluntarily discloses his or her salary history, the employer still cannot use that information to determine the applicant’s salary and benefits.
- Suffolk County joins New York City, Westchester County and Albany County as localities having similar legislation. A state-wide bill had previously been passed in the Assembly but stalled in the Senate. With the recent change of control of the Senate to the Democrats, it is likely a state-wide law will be passed during the next legislative session.
- The law does not give guidance as to how salary discussions should take place. The New York City law, for example, allows employers to discuss the applicant’s salary expectations. The Suffolk County law does not address this issue.
- Employers should begin updating their employment practices now to comply with the law.
- An employer’s failure to comply with the law could lead to the following consequences:
o Compensatory damages to the individual
o Payment to the County’s general fund
o Civil fines and penalties in an amount not to exceed $50,000 ($100,000 if the violation is found to be willful, wanton, or malicious).
“Suffolk County Legislature prohibiting employers from asking about applicants salary” was first published by FranklinGringer.com.
If you have any questions regarding this or any other labor and employment law issue, please contact an attorney at
Franklin, Gringer & Cohen, P.C. at 516-228-3131.