Bill Text: NY S00051 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Prohibits employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees; establishes a public awareness campaign.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 9-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-20 - RECOMMIT, ENACTING CLAUSE STRICKEN [S00051 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S00051-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     January 9, 2019
          RIVERA, SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
          be  committed  to the Committee on Investigations and Government Oper-
        AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to prohibiting  employers
          from seeking salary history from prospective employees
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Legislative intent.  The legislature hereby finds that  New
     2  York should lead the nation in preventing wage discrimination.
     3    The  wage  gap  between  men  and  women is one of the oldest and most
     4  persistent effects of inequality between the sexes in the United States.
     5    The 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights  Act  in  the  United
     6  States established the legal right to equal pay for equal work and equal
     7  opportunity. Yet half a century later, women are still subjected to wage
     8  gaps and paid less then men.
     9    The  concept  of  comparable worth attacks the problem of gender-based
    10  wage discrimination by mandating  that  jobs  characterized  by  similar
    11  levels of education, skill, effort, responsibilities, and working condi-
    12  tions  be compensated at similar wage levels regardless of the gender of
    13  the worker holding the job.
    14    The goal of pay equity is to raise the wages for undervalued jobs held
    15  predominantly by women.   Today, women make  only  77  cents  per  every
    16  dollar  earned  by  a  man for a comparable job, a gender wage gap of 23
    17  percent.
    18    This translates into thousands of dollars of lost wages each year  for
    19  each  female worker, money that helps them feed their families, save for
    20  a college education and afford decent and safe housing.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 51                               2
     1    Pay disparities affect women of all ages, races, and education levels,
     2  but are more pronounced for women  of  color.  Minority  women  make  as
     3  little as 54 cents per dollar for a comparable job held by a man.
     4    Female-dominated  jobs pay twenty to thirty percent less than male-do-
     5  minated jobs classified as comparable in worth and more than one half of
     6  all women work in jobs that are over seventy percent female.
     7    Women are more likely to enter poverty in old age for several reasons:
     8  A lifetime of lower wages means women  have  less  income  to  save  for
     9  retirement,  and  less  income  that  counts in their Social Security or
    10  pension benefit formula.
    11    The current life expectancy for women means they will, on  an  average
    12  of three years, outlive men. Yet they will have to stretch their retire-
    13  ment  savings,  which  are  less  to begin with, over a longer period of
    14  time.
    15    The existence of pay inequity is a manifestation  of  deep-seated  sex
    16  discrimination that prevents both equality of pay for women and equality
    17  of opportunity for both sexes.
    18    More  women  in  the  United  States are obtaining college degrees and
    19  increasing their participation in the labor  force  and  family-friendly
    20  legislation,  including the Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act,
    21  and Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and policies such  as  flex  time  and
    22  telecommuting,  have increased options to create a win-win situation for
    23  women and their employers.
    24    Despite the progress, women continue to  suffer  the  consequences  of
    25  inequitable  pay  differentials:  in  2010, the average college-educated
    26  woman working full-time earned $47,000 a year compared to $64,000 for  a
    27  college-educated man.
    28    During  2012, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers were
    29  $691, compared with $854 per week for men,  a  gender  wage  gap  of  19
    30  percent.
    31    Fair pay strengthens the security of families and eases future retire-
    32  ment  costs  while  also strengthening the American economy. In order to
    33  achieve fair pay, policymakers must enact laws that prevent gender based
    34  wage discrimination from when women enter the labor force.
    35    In order to do so, it is necessary to  prevent  employers  to  base  a
    36  woman's  pay  based  on  her  previous  pay  history. Because the pay is
    37  already based on gender  discrimination,  allowing  pay  history  to  be
    38  requested  by employers is equivalent to maintaining a standard of lower
    39  pay for women performing similar jobs as men.  This practice  of  asking
    40  for pay history must be outlawed.
    41    §  2.  Section  296  of  the  executive law is amended by adding a new
    42  subdivision 20 to read as follows:
    43    20. It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice of  any  employer,
    44  labor  organization, employment agency or licensing agency, or employees
    45  or agents thereof, to seek a salary history from a prospective  employee
    46  for an interview or as a condition for employment.
    47    §  3.  The department of labor, in conjunction with the New York state
    48  division of human rights, shall establish a public  awareness  campaign,
    49  available on their respective websites, informing employers in the state
    50  that  it  is illegal to seek salary information from prospective employ-
    51  ees.
    52    § 4. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    53  have become a law.