“We will advance women’s rights and equal pay by adopting salary history blind hiring practices and requiring all state contractors to report employees’ gender and pay” “And make no mistake, New York will always stand up – and stand tall and stand firm – to protect a woman’s right to choose” Executive Order #161 Will Prohibit State Entities from Evaluating Prospective Candidates Based on Prior Wage History Executive Order #162 Will Require State Contractors to Disclose Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Salary of all Employees to Drive Transparency and Progress Toward Wage Equity
Yesterday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed two executive orders to put New York on the fast track to eliminate the wage gap. The executive orders will strengthen equal pay protections in New York by prohibiting all state entities from evaluating candidates based on their prior salary or asking prospective employees their wage history. New York will also require state contractors to disclose data on the gender, race and ethnicity of employees – leveraging taxpayer dollars to drive transparency and advance pay equity statewide.
The Governor signed the Executive Orders as part of the “New York Promise” Agenda - sweeping, unprecedented package of reforms to advance principles of social justice, affirm New York’s progressive values, and a set a national standard for protections against all forms of discrimination. The Governor made the announcement at his regional New York City State of the State yesterday.
VIDEO of Governor Cuomo’s remarks on advancing women’s equality is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h264, mp4) format here.
Executive Order 161
Executive Order No. 161 prohibits state entities from asking the salary history of prospective employees. As companies tend to base salary offers on a candidate’s prior salary history, this measure will break the cycle of unfair compensation so that individuals, primarily women and minorities, are not disadvantaged throughout the course of their entire career.
A candidate for employment at any state entity does not have to provide his or her current compensation, or any prior compensation history, until he or she is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation. Once a conditional offer has been extended, a state entity may then request and verify compensation information. If a state entity is already in possession of an applicant’s prior compensation, the information may not be relied upon in determining the prospective employees salary, unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement. The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations will monitor and oversee this process and train relevant human resources staff from state entities on the requirements of the new measure.
Executive Order 162
Executive Order No. 162 requires all state contractors to disclose data on the 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. This will leverage taxpayer dollars to drive transparency and progress toward wage equity.
ELIMINATING THE WAGE GAP.
Based on most recent data, women in New York earn 87 cents on the dollar in comparison to what men earn. Women of color, compared to white men, fare worse: African-American women earn on average 69 cents on the dollar and Latinas 58 cents on the dollar.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015 there were 12 million single parent families in the United States – more than 80 percent of them headed by single mothers. In New York, more than a third of children across the state are growing up in single-parent families. Moreover, a McKinsey report estimates that full labor force parity would lead to an additional $4.3 trillion to U.S. GDP by 2025.
State government must lead by example and ensure equal pay for all New Yorkers. To strengthen pay equity statewide, Governor Cuomo signed the following executive orders:
Advancing Women’s Rights in New York
The announcement builds on the Governor’s sweeping Women’s Equality Act, signed in 2015, which strengthened pay equity protections in New York by prohibiting employers from retaliating against employees who share wage information and increasing damages and penalties for employers who underpay their workers because of gender, race or ethnicity. The legislation also enhanced human trafficking laws and protections for domestic violence victims, and ended pregnancy discrimination in all workplaces.