Halloween Marks the Beginning of New York City’s Enhanced Efforts to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap

The gender wage gap in New York City is very real, with women making on average between $12,000 and $15,000 less than their male counterparts who perform the same jobs. And while New York City employs a facially gender-neutral pay scale, women end up with lower salaries because they are placed in the lower paying positions, or the positions that offer less influence. The result is a 17-18% gender wage gap.The reasons for the wage gap are archaic and relate to the misconception that women are “supplemental” wage earners whose primary role is to raise children. However, recent studies considering gender productivity among employees do not support using gender as a proxy for productivity or reliability in the workplace, which is a form of New York gender discrimination.

Despite the lack of evidence supporting the gender wage gap, employers have been able to get away with the practice of offering women lower salaries for years. However, according to a recent news report, legislation signed by Mayor de Blasio will reduce an employer’s ability to perpetuate the gender wage gap.

Beginning on October 31, 2017, New York employers will be prevented from inquiring about the salary history of prospective employees. The idea is that by relying on previous compensation information, employers may feel justified in paying a woman less than an equally qualified man because the woman had previously been making less than her male counterpart.

Under the new legislation, an employer is prohibited from asking about the previous “salary, benefits or other compensation for [an] applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract.” An employer who does ask about this protected information is deemed to have engaged in discriminatory conduct. Importantly, an employer is not permitted to circumvent the prohibition by obtaining the information through other third-party sources.

The law contains a number of exceptions. For example, applicants who are applying for an internal position within the company for which they currently work may be asked about salary information, and the employer can use this information to determine an employee’s compensation. Similarly, the law does not apply when an applicant voluntarily discloses information about previous salaries or benefit packages. In this case, the employer would not be prevented from using such information in determining an employee’s compensation.

Have You Suffered From Gender Wage Discrimination?

If you are a New York employee who believes that you are being compensated less due to your gender, you may be a victim of illegal wage discrimination. The dedicated New York gender discrimination attorneys at Phillips & Associates, PLLC have decades of collective experience handling all types of New York workplace discrimination cases, including those based on wage differential. We represent clients in all industries and work tirelessly on our clients’ behalf because we know first-hand the effect discrimination can have on an individual, a family, and our community. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Phillips & Associates, call 212-248-7431 today.

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When the Sexual Harasser Is Also the Boss in New York, New York Employment Attorney Blog, October 24, 2017

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