On January 10, 2017, by Executive Order, the State of New York took aggressive steps to level the playing field for state employees. Executive Order 161 prohibits state employers from asking the salary history of prospective employees. While the measure is not applicable to all employers within the state, it will at least prevent state entities from engaging in unfair compensation by denying employees, historically women and minorities, fair pay for a job. It is a well-known tactic for employers to base salary offers to women and minorities on prior salary history which can often be less than the employer is paying a male or non-minority worker for doing the same job. This will end that disparity and force employers to pay each employee equally, regardless of prior salary history.
In addition, Executive Order 162, requires all state contractors to reveal data on gender, race, ethnicity, job title, and salary of all its employees in all state contracts, agreements, and procurements issued and executed on or after June 1, 2017. Contracts and procurements issued on or after that date must include a provision identifying this additional requirement. Additionally, subcontractors must also provide the same information for their employees. This information will be reported to state agencies and authorities on a quarterly basis for prime contracts having a value in excess of $25,000, except for prime construction contracts having a value in excess of $100,000, which shall be reported on a monthly basis.