Westchester County in New York Passes Wage Transparency Law

A local Law amending Westchester County's Human Rights Law  will go into effect on November 6, 2022. The new Law prohibits an employer (any person with at least four employees), labor organization, employment agency, or licensing agency from posting a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity without stating the minimum and maximum salary for such position. The provided salary range may extend from the lowest to the highest salary that the employer believes in good faith, at the time of posting, would pay for the advertised job opportunity.

Piggy bankUnder the Law, a "posting" is defined as any written or printed communication that the employer is recruiting and accepting applications for a specific position. To be subject to this Law, the employment position must be "performed, in whole or in part, in Westchester County, whether from an office, in the field, or remotely." This Law does not apply to a job posting for temporary employment at a temporary help firm, or to independent contractors. Additionally, the Law does not extend to a "Help Wanted" or similar sign, affixed to the premises, which does not reference any particular position that an employer is accepting applications or hiring for.

The Law also prohibits an employer from:

  • requesting that a prospective employee disclose their past wage history;
  • relying on the wage history of a prospective employee in determining compensation; or
  • seeking wage information from a prospective employee's previous employer.

However, an employer may rely on a prospective employee's prior wage history when it was voluntarily provided by the prospective employee to support a higher wage. In addition, an employer may seek a prospective employee's prior wage information after an employment offer has been made, and the prospective employee responds by providing prior wage information to support a higher wage. Thereafter, the employer may seek to confirm the prior wage information after obtaining the employee's written authorization to do so.

Employers found in violation of this Law will be subject to civil penalties in an amount not to exceed $125,000, and $250,000 for willful violations. The Law also contains a preemption clause, which declares this Law "null and void on the day that Statewide legislation goes into effect, incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this law, or in the event that a pertinent State or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Westchester."