April 03, 2019 Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings Act
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to remind you of new legislation prohibiting employers from asking a job applicant, during the hiring process, about his/her salary and benefit history. The Restricting Information on Salaries and Earnings Act (“the RISE Act”) is scheduled to go into effect on June 30, 2019.
The RISE Act amends the Suffolk County Human Rights Law, which applies to both public and private employers with four or more employees. The Act provides that it is an unfair discriminatory practice for an employer or employment agency (or its employees/agents) to inquire about an applicant’s wage or salary history. This includes, but is not limited to, an applicant’s “compensation and benefits.” The law does not define the term “compensation and benefits.” We recommend that you avoid asking applicants questions relating to any term and condition of employment and instead focus your questions on the applicant’s employment history (e.g., dates of employment, positions held, job duties, etc.).
For purposes of the Act, “to inquire” means to request the information, verbally or in writing, from an applicant or former employer, or to conduct a search of publicly available records or reports. In addition, an employer, employment agency, employee or agent cannot rely on the salary history of a job applicant to determine a future wage or salary at any stage, including in the offer or contract, of the employment process.
Employers and employment agencies will not violate the Act if they make salary history inquiries that are permitted or required by federal, State or local laws. Finally, there is no violation of the Act if a collective bargaining agreement requires discussions about salary or benefit history.
We recommend that you notify any individuals in your workforce who are involved in candidate interviews about the requirements of the RISE Act. We also recommend that you update any documentation used as part of the job application process (e.g., a form questionnaire) to ensure compliance with the law. If you would like assistance with this process or need additional information on the RISE Act, please contact Alyson Mathews or one of our other attorneys at 631-694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2019