Starting October 8, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced two new laws about pay equity that are officially in effect.
The new laws will prohibit both public and private employers who do business in New York State from asking potential employees about their salary history and compensation. Additionally, it will expand the definition of equal pay for equal work.
Gov. Cuomo calls on all businesses to do internal reviews of their pay policies and make the adjustments needed. These orders build upon the two orders signed by Gov. Cuomo last year.
According to a press release, the Governor’s actions last year included the effort to, “Eliminate the wage gap by prohibiting state entities from evaluating candidates based on wage history and requiring state contractors to disclose data on the gender, race, and ethnicity of employees — leveraging taxpayer dollars to drive transparency and advance pay equity statewide.”
In 2017, the Department of Labor issued a report on the gender pay gap in New York City and provided recommendations to help break the cycle. After the Department of Labor held pay equity events around the state, they released the report in the spring.
As soon as Gov. Cuomo saw the recommendations, he introduced a new bill, which went into effect today.
Gov. Cuomo said in a press release that, “We are at a critical point in history when this country is finally recognizing the long-term discrimination against women and taking action to right the wrongs of an unfair system.”
Cuomo added, “There is no rational reason why women should not get paid the same as men, and these common-sense measures will take us one step closer to true equality. Now it’s time for businesses across the state to take a hard look at their pay policies and ensure women employees get paid the same as their male colleagues if they are doing substantially similar work.”
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul echoed Gov. Cuomo’s statement saying, “Although New York has among the lowest gender wage gaps in the nation, the disparity still exists. That is unacceptable. We are committed to closing the gap once and for all in New York, and these new pay equity laws bring us closer to ensuring equality and fairness for all women. We have made significant progress, but we will not rest until every woman is receiving equal pay for equal work.”