Suffolk County Bans Salary History Inquiries

Recently, the Restrict Information Regarding Salary and Earnings (the “RISE” Act) was passed by the Suffolk County legislature which will ban employers from inquiring about the salary history of prospective employees. The RISE Act amends the Suffolk County Human Rights Law which applies to employers with four or more employees.

The new law will become effective June 30, 2019 and will prohibit employers in Suffolk County from inquiring about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including both compensation and benefits. The prohibition applies to written and oral inquiries, as well as searches of publicly available records or reports.

In addition, employers cannot rely on the salary history of an applicant for employment in determining the wage or salary amount for such applicant at any stage in the employment process including the offer or contract. The RISE Act does not apply to actions taken pursuant to any federal, state, or local law that requires the disclosure or verification of salary for employment purposes, or to the exercise of any right pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. 

New York City and Westchester County have also adopted similar salary history bans. The Suffolk County RISE Act differs in that employers may not consider salary history even if it is voluntarily disclosed by the applicant. 

Suffolk County employers should be sure to update their policies to reflect the new law.