The New Salary Law

Everyone is talking about NYC’s new salary law! Starting on October 31, prospective employers and recruiters in NYC will no longer be able to ask you about your salary history.  The law is an attempt to bridge the pay gap between men and women who perform the same jobs by preventing pay disparities from accumulating over time. Being underpaid in your current role will no longer hurt you when you try to make a move.  Employers will have to determine your compensation based on your provided expectations, your experience and market rates. Now that the rules have changed, how can you negotiate the best offer and get paid what you’re worth?

Know the market

Instead of being asked your salary, firms will ask you for your expectations. You will be more likely to get what you ask for if you base that number on market rates for someone with your experience. You can research market data using our industry Salary Surveys. This is especially important if you are being underpaid. You do not want to undersell yourself and be stuck under-market again in your next role! Of course, if you are working on a role with us, we will always help you to determine the right number.

Location matters

This law regulates employers in NYC. If you are applying to a Firm elsewhere, the regulations for that state or city may differ. However, even if you live in another part of the country, this law could still have an impact on you. Although the new salary law is only effective for NYC employers, many states and cities are adopting similar laws, and many Firms with multiple offices are adopting blanket policies.

Disclosing is still an option

If you are above-market, then it may be in your interest to disclose your current salary. This information will likely help you negotiate a higher offer, as it will take more for you to make a move. Although employers will no longer ask for your salary, there is no law prohibiting you from sharing it! This is entirely your decision, and you will need to be the one who brings it up. Keep in mind that if you do decide to volunteer this information, the Firm will be allowed to verify it later on.


The NYC Human Rights website has a great FAQ that lays out clearly what employers will and will not be allowed to ask, available here. Take a look at it if you have any questions!


Going through a trusted recruiter who knows the market can give you an advantage, because they can help you to determine how your experience will be valued in the marketplace. When we work with candidates, we always help them figure out the right salary for their next role!

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