Employers in New York, especially New York City, are no strangers to legislative changes that impose additional restrictions and requirements to hiring and employment processes. Additionally, the Equal Pay Provision of the New York State Labor Law (Article 6, Section 194), enacted in 2016, further demonstrates just how flexible New York employers are required to be.
New York’s law is aimed at improving and increasing pay equity across the board. Under the law, the following requirements must be met:
- Employers must justify pay differentials
- Employers may only cite a limited number of factors to explain compensation differences
- Employers must prove reasons for pay differences
According to the New York Department of Labor:
An employer may not pay different rates based on gender. Men and women must receive the same rate of pay if they work: in the same establishment, on jobs that need equal effort, skill and responsibility, and under similar conditions.
The law does permit different rates of pay based on factors other than gender, such as: length of service, quality of work and quantity of work.
The Commissioner of Labor can enforce claims of workers based on violations of the Equal Pay Law similar to other wage payment laws.
These statutory provisions, which share multiple similarities with California’s recently-amended Fair Pay Act California Equity Blog, make it seemingly easy for employees to make claims of pay inequity. Additionally, these provisions create more room for comparison between employees working in the same geographic region – which, unlike California’s law, is restricted to the same county.
Although these changes are significant, they are not comprehensive and/or inclusive of additional legislation passed in jurisdictions such as New York City, where the morale for equal pay is at an all-time high.
Employers are solely responsible for ensuring they are in compliance with all federal, state and local laws such as those mentioned above. For more information on these laws, and the effect on your organization’s policies and practices, please consult your legal counsel. A-Check Global provides legal and legislative content for general information purposes only.
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