New pay equity law to take effect in Suffolk County, N.Y.

On June 30, 2019, Suffolk County, New York began enforcing its Local Law to Restrict Information Regarding Salary and Earnings (also known as the RISE Act).

Employers and employment agencies of any size there may not inquire about job applicants’ compensation history; seek the compensation history of job candidates from any publicly available record search; or rely on compensation history to determine wages. Under RISE, unlawful inquiries are defined as oral or written requests to applicants and / or their former employers as well as searches of publicly available records containing compensation data.

Violations of this law are considered “unlawful discriminatory practices” under the Suffolk County Human Rights Law. Civil penalties include a fine of $5,000 for the first offense, $10,000 for the second offense, and $20,000 for the third offense. In addition, diversity training initiatives must be completed by offenders.

Voluntary disclosure of wages is not a violation of this law if done to comply with federal, state or local laws which mandate salary disclosures for employment purposes.

Suffolk County will become the fourth location in New York state to enact pay equity legislation, joining Westchester County, Albany and New York City.

In related news, the state of Maine and the City of Cincinnati have also passed salary inquiry and pay equity legislation that will take effect on September 17, 2019 and March 13, 2020, respectively.

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To learn more about salary inquiry and pay equity laws around the United States, visit CharlesAris.com/Pay-Equity-Laws.