On May 4, 2017, New York City amended its Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to join the growing number of municipalities that prohibit employers from inquiring about applicants’ wage history. Ostensibly designed to “help break the cycle of gender pay inequity[,]” this new restriction may open employers to yet another theory the plaintiffs’ bar can seek to exploit.

Beginning Oct. 31, 2017, it will be “an unlawful discriminatory practice” under the NYCHRL for an employer (i) to inquire about the salary history of an applicant, or (ii) to rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining compensation during the hiring process. The term “inquire” is broadly defined, and includes not only asking an applicant what he or she has been paid by prior or current employers, but also searching public records to obtain that information. The law does not prohibit (i) inquiries into objective productivity metrics “such as revenue, sales, or other production reports,” (ii) discussing with an applicant “their expectations with respect to salary, benefits and other compensation,” or (iii) verifying and considering an applicant’s salary history where he or she “voluntarily and without prompting discloses” it.

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Photo of Noel A. Lesica Noel A. Lesica

Noel A. Lesica advises clients on a wide range of employment law issues, representing employers before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. Noel brings to her practice the added perspective gained from her deep in-house experience in the pharmaceutical industry, where she

Noel A. Lesica advises clients on a wide range of employment law issues, representing employers before administrative agencies and state and federal courts. Noel brings to her practice the added perspective gained from her deep in-house experience in the pharmaceutical industry, where she helped clients manage risk and achieve compliance while marketing and selling product in a highly regulated environment.

Building upon the litigation experience she acquired before working in-house, Noel focuses her practice on a variety of workplace challenges facing employers and Human Resources professionals, including preventing and managing claims of discrimination, unlawful harassment and retaliation.

Noel enjoys public speaking, and regularly trains management and staff on the meaning and consequences of unlawful workplace harassment, with a focus on preventing sexual harassment claims.

Noel is committed to pro bono service, and has experience representing clients in domestic violence contempt matters.

Photo of Michael J. Slocum Michael J. Slocum

Michael J. Slocum focuses his practice on labor and employment law, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims. Michael has represented employers in a broad array of industries, including health care and life sciences, pharmaceutical, private security, and retail,

Michael J. Slocum focuses his practice on labor and employment law, including the defense of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims. Michael has represented employers in a broad array of industries, including health care and life sciences, pharmaceutical, private security, and retail, and has experience defending against both individual employee claims and class actions.

Michael has written and spoken numerous times on a multitude of issues facing employers in diverse industries. In addition to many client alerts and online articles, Michael was a contributing author to “Avoiding Liability for Unconscious Bias and Subtle Discrimination” published in the New Jersey Law Journal in December 2008, as well as a chapter on the False Claims Act in the 2010 edition of “Health Law and Compliance Update.” Michael was a speaker at a September 2008 seminar “The New Jersey FCA: Perspectives and Insight,” as well as the firm’s May 2013 “Taking Care of Business: An Annual Update on Labor and Employment Law” seminar. More recently, Law 360 published Michael’s article “NYC Earned Sick Time Act May Hit Small Business Hardest” in May 2014, and his article “NJ Supreme Court Reaffirms ‘Faithless Servant’ Doctrine” in November 2015. Michael also authored “EEOC Proposes Collecting Pay Data to Combat ‘Pay Discrimination,’” published by the New Jersey Law Journal in March 2016, and well as “Revisiting the Great Joint Employment Debate,” published by the New Jersey Law Journal in April 2018.

Prior to joining the firm, Michael practiced in the litigation department of a national firm focused on labor and employment matters in the life sciences industry, where he served as Editor of that firm’s “False Claims Act Quarterly.” He has experience representing clients at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal courts, as well as before a variety of state and federal administrative agencies.