Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Orders to Ensure Pay Equity in State Employment and on State Contracts

On January 9, 2016, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed two executive orders to ensure pay equity in state employment and on state contracts.

Executive Order No. 161, Ensuring Pay Equity by State Employers, prohibits state employers from asking or mandating that an applicant for employment provide his or her current compensation or history of prior compensation until the applicant is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation. Once a conditional offer of employment has been extended, then the state entity may request and verify compensation information. If a state entity is already in possession of a job applicant’s prior compensation before the effective date of the order, the information may not be relied upon in determining the applicant’s salary, unless required by law or a collective-bargaining agreement. A job applicant would not be prevented from voluntarily offering compensation information, but the applicant is not obligated to provide such information until requirements of the order are met. A job applicant’s refusal to provide compensation information may not be considered in making an employment determination.

Executive Order No. 161 applies to:

  • All agencies and departments over which the Governor has executive authority; and
  • All public benefit corporations, public authorities, boards, and commissions for which the Governor appoints the chair, the chief executive, or the majority of board members, except for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Executive Order No. 162, Ensuring Pay Equity by State Contractors, requires state agencies and authorities to include a provision in all state contracts, agreements, and procurements issued and executed on or after June 1, 2017, requiring contractors and subcontractors to agree to and include detailed work utilization reports to include, in addition to equal employment opportunity information, the job title and salary of each employee performing work on a state contract, or of each employee in the contractor’s or subcontractor’s entire workforce, if the contractor or subcontractor cannot identify the individuals working directly on a state contract. This information must be reported to state agencies and authorities on a quarterly basis for all prime contracts having a value in excess of $25,000, except that for prime construction contracts having a value in excess of $100,000 information must be reported on a monthly basis. Information must be reported in the form and manner as required by the New York State Department of Economic Development, with the information to be reported to all agencies and authorities by June 1, 2017. The collection of such pay information is considered critical to ensure that workers are being provided equal opportunities to work on state contracts and are being paid similarly for performing the same work.

Read Executive Order 161
Read Executive Order 162