New York Equal Pay/Comparable Worth laws & HR compliance analysis

New York Equal Pay/Comparable Worth: What you need to know

The New York Equal Pay Law prohibits sex discrimination in compensation for jobs in the same establishment that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions. The Law applies to all employers, regardless of size (NY Labor Law Sec. 194 et seq.).
Employees are considered to work at the “same establishment” if they work for the same employer at workplaces located in the same geographical region, no larger than a county, taking into account population distribution, economic activity, and the presence of municipalities.
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Differences in rate of pay are permissible when they are based on:
• A seniority system
• A merit system
• A system which measures earnings by quality or quantity of production
• Any bona fide factor other than sex such as education, training, or experience.
Under the amended law, the bona fide factor may not be based on a sex-based differential in compensation and must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. The factor does not apply when an employee demonstrates that:
• The employer uses a particular employment practice that creates a disparate impact on the basis of sex;
• An alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing the pay difference; and
• The employer has refused to adopt the alternative practice.
A “business necessity” is defined as a factor that bears a manifest relationship to the employment in question.
It is unlawful for an employer to prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee. An employer may have a written policy establishing reasonable ...

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