May 16, 2022
New York Labor and Employment Law Report
January 28, 2021
Earlier this month, the federal court for the Western District of New York issued a decision in Charter Communications, Inc. v. Derfert, No. 20-cv-915, 2021 WL 37726 (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2021) holding that an employment arbitration agreement did not preclude a hearing before the New York State Division of Human Rights (the Division) on an employee’s discrimination claim.
Ban the Box: Westchester County Passes Legislation Prohibiting Conviction History Questions on Job Applications
December 4, 2018
Following the trend of other counties and municipalities throughout New York State who have adopted “fair chance” or “ban the box” legislation, the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a local law on December 3 which would prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal conviction or arrest record in employment applications. The law, which will go into effect 90 days after it is signed by the County Executive, also bans employment advertisements, solicitations, or publications containing any “limitation, or specification in employment based on a person’s arrest record or criminal conviction.”
July 11, 2018
Every employer wants to promote and sustain a safe workplace. One way in which employers try to accomplish this goal is to conduct background checks on its applicants or new hires to assess whether they might pose a risk to other employees, customers, or other individuals they might encounter during their employment. However, when inquiring about applicants’ criminal histories or arrest records and when basing employment decisions on information obtained through background checks, employers should make sure that they are in compliance with relevant federal, state, and local laws.
Albany County Joins the Growing Number of Jurisdictions Banning Inquiries on a Job Applicant’s Compensation History
November 9, 2017
On October 10, 2017, the Albany County Legislature amended its County Human Rights Law by passing a law prohibiting all Albany County employers (entities with 4 or more employees) and employment agencies from doing any of the following:
- Screening job applicants based on their current wages and benefits or other compensation or salary history.
- Requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria.
- Requesting an applicant’s prior wages or salary history or requiring an applicant to provide that information as a condition of being interviewed or considered for employment.
- Seeking the applicant’s salary history from a current or former employer.
County Executive McCoy signed the law on November 6, 2017. The law goes into effect thirty (30) days after it is filed with the New York Secretary of State.
The law does provide one exception: an employer or employment agency may confirm prior wages (including benefits or other compensation or salary history) after the employer extends an offer of employment, with the applicant’s written authorization.
Albany County’s law, like similar legislation enacted in other jurisdictions, aims to eliminate the wage gap between women and men. These laws are becoming a growing trend. As we have previously reported, New York City, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Philadelphia have all passed similar prohibitions.
Albany County employers (including employers with offices in Albany County) should immediately remove all salary history inquiries from their job applications. In addition, Human Resources personnel and management employees who are involved in the hiring process should be immediately notified of the new law. As this prohibition continues to gain momentum, employers should keep abreast of further legislative action in other geographical areas as well.
Reminder to NYC Employers: Law Prohibiting Inquiries About Compensation History Will take Effect on October 13
October 24, 2017
In blog posts on April 11 and May 10, we explained a piece of legislation that will ban nearly all New York City employers from: (1) asking job applicants about their compensation history; and (2) relying on a job applicant’s compensation history when making a job offer or negotiating an employment contract. This post serves as a friendly reminder that the law will take full effect on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.