Ban the Salary History Question in NY State
Asking prospective employees about their past salary leads to gendered wage discrimination.
In honor of Equal Pay Day, New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef introduced comprehensive legislation (A.6707/S.5233) that would prohibit employers in New York State from forcing potential employees to disclose their salary history. The salary history question enables employees to underpay women and minorities because employers use a potential employee’s past wage to determine what salary to offer.
Assemblywoman Galef explained why the salary history question must be banned: “A longstanding practice of employers during the hiring process, the salary history inquiry is a hidden, yet pervasive form of discrimination. It is often perpetuated without any knowledge or malice. Many employers will claim that asking about prior compensation is a reasonable exercise that allows them a means of gauging how likely a candidate will be to accept an offer and has no foundation in discrimination. However, even a company policy that is gender neutral on its face like one that gives qualified candidates 10% over their last salary is complicit in furthering workplace bias. By banning the question during the hiring process, employers will be required to offer jobs and compensation to prospective employees based on their own skills, merit and demands of the job, not gender, race or ethnicity.”
Banning the salary history question is the next step we need to take in the fight to end the pay gap—we must pressure New York State legislators to pass Assemblywoman Galef’s bill.
- New York State Assembly Sponsor: Assemblywoman Sandy Galef
- New York State Senate Sponsor: Senator David Carlucci
- Bill Number: (A.6707/S.5233)
Read more about the bill here:
Here’s how you can take action to ensure that the salary history question is banned in New York State:
Call your elected officials (read on to learn how)
Calling your elected officials can seem intimidating, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think! Calling puts the pressure on your representative to act in real time. At the end of the day a representative’s calls are counted up and can be used to influence their vote on an issue. Why? Because representatives know that if they don’t act on the concerns of their constituents, it could impact their ability to get reelected. Calling your representatives may not seem like that a big deal, but flooding the phone lines with your concerns is critical to how a democracy works.
Who are my New York State representatives?
What happens when you call?
Most likely an intern or receptionist will answer the phone.
You can then say the following script:
Hi, my name is ____________ and I’m a constituent in [your zip code]. I do not need a *response. I’m calling because I support (A.6707/S.5233) which is the bill to ban the salary history question in New York State. The salary history question negatively perpetuates the gender pay gap and must be banned. I strongly encourage my representative to vote yes on this bill. [If the issue has directly impacted you or those you know, now would be a good time to share a little bit about that.] Thank you for your hard work!
THAT’S IT! YOU DID IT! Thank you for acting NOW!
*If you do want a response the person on the phone will take down your contact information and enter you into the response database.