Stronger New York Pay Equity Law to Take Effect in January 2016
October 29, 2015
By: Kristen E. SmithNew York employers take notice: an amendment to New York’s equal pay law (S.1/A.6075) was signed by Governor Cuomo on October 21, 2015. The law amends Labor Law Section 194, which prohibits pay differentials based on gender in jobs requiring “equal skill, effort and responsibility” which are “performed under similar working conditions.” The bill was passed by the Assembly in April, and by the Senate in January, and the changes are significant. The amendment to Labor Law Section 194 is one of eight laws aimed at gender equality issues that Cuomo signed last week. Of interest to employers, several of the other laws also touch on employment issues. Those other laws:
- Extend the prohibition on sexual harassment to all employers, including those with less than four employees (S.2 / A.5360);
- Allow employees to obtain attorneys’ fees when they prevail in sex discrimination lawsuits (S.3 / A.7189);
- Add “familial status” to the list of protected traits under the New York State Human Rights Law (S.4 / A.7317); and
- Add a requirement to the Human Rights Law that employers must provide reasonable accommodations to all pregnant employees, not just those with a pregnancy-related disability (S.8 / A.4272).