Governor Murphy’s first official act upon taking office was to sign an executive order targeting the wage gap between men and women working in NJ. Effective February 1, 2018, NJ state agencies are prohibited from asking a job applicant for past wage history unless or until a conditional offer of employment, including an explanation of the overall compensation package, has been extended. State agencies may not investigate or research prior salaries of applicants, but may request or verify current or previous compensation information prior to a conditional job offer if an applicant volunteers such information or if verification is required by federal, state or local law. An agency that obtained salary history information prior to the effective date is prohibited from using that information in any employment decision unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement.

Q: Does NY have a similar law that applies to private NY employers?

A: Yes and no. As of January 2018, there is no NY State law prohibiting private employers from inquiring about or requiring salary history information from prospective employees. But, Mayor de Blasio signed a bill into law that went into effect in October 2017, making it an unlawful discriminatory practice for NYC private employers to ask for salary history information from an applicant or an applicant's current or former employer. NYC private employers are prohibited from conducting any form of search through publically available information for a prosective employee's salary history, and may not consider an applicant's salary history in determining the salary, benefits or other forms of compensation for that applicant.