The RISE Act aims to close the pay gap between men and women by restricting employer’s access to a potential employee’s salary history.
Effective June 30, 2019, employers with four (4) or more employees in Suffolk County may not:
Inquire, in any form of application or otherwise, about a job applicant’s wage or salary history, including but not limited to, compensation and benefits.
Rely on the salary history of an applicant for employment in determining the wage or salary amount for such applicant at any state in the employment process including the offer or contract.
Suffolk County employers should note that the RISE Act expressly excludes any actions taken that are (1) pursuant to any federal, state or local law which requires the verification or disclosure of an applicant’s salary for employment purposes, or (2) pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.
Violations under the RISE Act may result in an award of compensatory damages to the individual, payment to the County general fund, and civil fines and penalties in an amount not to exceed $50,000 ($100,000 if the violation is found to be willful, wanton or malicious).
What must employers do to ensure their pre-employment practice comply with this new legislation? It is a good idea to instruct hiring managers not to engage in any discussion involving an applicant’s compensation history during the interviewing process. Additionally, employers should review all job application forms to determine that their hiring practices do not require applicants to submit any information regarding their salary history. Employers should also verify that their procedures to check references of job applicants do not result in obtaining an applicant’s salary history.