Westchester County
New York

Local Law
LL-2018-1

Wage History Anti-Discrimination

Information

Department:Board of LegislatorsSponsors:D9 Legislator Catherine Borgia, D8 Legislator (Vice Chair) Alfreda Williams, D5 Legislator (Chairman) Benjamin Boykin, D7 Legislator (Majority Leader) Catherine Parker, D16 Legislator Christopher Johnson, D10 Legislator Damon Maher, D2 Legislator Kitley Covill, D13 Legislator Lyndon Williams, D12 Legislator (Majority Whip) MaryJane Shimsky, D4 Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, D6 Legislator Nancy Barr, D17 Legislator Virginia Perez
Category:Proposed Local Law

Body

A proposed "LOCAL LAW amending Section 700.03 of the Laws of Westchester County to provide that it shall, in certain circumstances, be an unlawful discriminatory practice to rely upon, request or seek the wage history of a prospective employee."

 

Meeting History

Jan 22, 2018 7:00 PM Video Board of Legislators Regular Meeting

On motion of Ms. Parker the above item was received, filed and referred to the Committees on Legislation, Labor & Housing and Budget & Appropriations.

RESULT:REFERRED TO COMMITTEE
Mar 12, 2018 10:00 AM Video Budget & Appropriations Committee Meeting

Guests:

Law Department

Deputy County Stacey Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen

Jane Pendergast

AAUW Westchester Treasurer

AAUW NYS College/University Partner Director

Bev Neufeld

Executive Director PowHer Coalition

Elizabeth Zimmerman

Co-President Westchester NOW

Antoinette Klatzky

Co- Chair Westchester Women’s Agenda

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department came before the Committee to discuss ID # 10624- Local Law- Wage History Anti-Discrimination. This is a proposed "Local Law amending Section 700.03 of the Laws of Westchester County to provide that it shall, in certain circumstances, be an unlawful discriminatory practice to rely upon, request or seek the wage history of prospective employee." Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz explained that they are recommending the addition of the "reverse preemption" clause, which will take effect if the NYS Legislature passes a similar law. Employer may confirm wage history after a position is offered and accepted. Consent to look into wage history may be given in writing. The addition to the Local Law is section 9 (i, ii and iii). With the invited guests, Legislators discussed solving the issues of wage gap and equal pay though this Local Law making it unlawful to ask for wage history of a prospective employee. The item is pending discussion with the local Chamber of Commerce and The Business Council of Westchester. A similar law is at the State level. If that act becomes law then this item will be turned into a Resolution. If this Local Law passes, then it will take effect in 90 days. Human Rights Commission to enforce the Local Law. The Committee did approve the Resolution for setting the Public Hearing.

RESULT:PENDING
Mar 12, 2018 10:01 AM  Legislation Committee Meeting

Guests: Stacey Dolgin Kmetz, David Chen, Dept. of Law

Jane Pendergast AAUW Westchester Treasurer

AAUW NYS College/University Partner Director

Bev Neufeld, Executive Director, PowHer Coalition

Elizabeth Zimmerman, Co-President, Westchester NOW

Antoinette Klatzky, Co-Chair Westchester Women's Agenda

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department came before the Committee to discuss Item# 10624-Wage History Anti-Discrimination. This is a proposed "Local Law amending Section 700.03 of the Laws of Westchester County to provide that it shall, in certain circumstances, be an unlawful discriminatory practice to rely upon, request or seek the wage history of prospective employee." It was modeled after a New York City law and there is a state law pending. Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz explained that they are recommending the addition of the "reverse preemption" clause, which will take effect if the NYS Legislature passes a similar law. Employers may confirm wage history after a position is offered and accepted. A prospective employee may consent to have a prospective employer look into wage history as long as permission is given in writing. Leg. Cunzio brought up the issue of public employees and noted that there salaries are already public so this law would not include the. The item is pending discussion with the local Chamber of Commerce and The Business Council of Westchester. If the state act becomes law then this item will be turned into a Resolution. If this Local Law is passed, it will take effect in 90 days. The Human Rights Commission will enforce the Local Law. The Committee then voted to sign out only the Public Hearing resolution.

RESULT:PENDING
Mar 12, 2018 10:02 AM  Labor & Housing Committee Meeting

Guests: Law Department

Deputy County Stacey Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen

Jane Pendergast

AAUW Westchester Treasurer

AAUW NYS College/University Partner Director

Bev Neufeld

Executive Director PowHer Coalition

Elizabeth Zimmerman

Co-President Westchester NOW

Antoinette Klatzky

Co-Chair Westchester Women’s Agenda

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department came before the Committee to discuss ID # 10624- Local Law- Wage History Anti-Discrimination. This is a proposed "Local Law amending Section 700.03 of the Laws of Westchester County to provide that it shall, in certain circumstances, be an unlawful discriminatory practice to rely upon, request or seek the wage history of prospective employee." Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz explained that they are recommending the addition of the "reverse preemption" clause, which will take effect if the NYS Legislature passes a similar law. Employer may confirm wage history after a position is offered and accepted. Consent to look into wage history may be given in writing. The addition to the Local Law is section 9 (i, ii and iii). With the invited guests, Legislators discussed solving the issues of wage gap and equal pay though this Local Law making it unlawful to ask for wage history of a prospective employee. The item is pending discussion with the local Chamber of Commerce and The Business Council of Westchester. A similar law is at the State level. If that act becomes law then this item will be turned into a Resolution. If this Local Law passes, then it will take effect in 90 days. Human Rights Commission to enforce the Local Law. The Committee did approve the Resolution for setting the Public Hearing.

RESULT:PENDING
Mar 19, 2018 10:00 AM Video Budget & Appropriations Committee Meeting

Joint with Labor & Housing and Legislation.

Guests:

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department

Kevin Cacace- Executive Director, Yonkers Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Hofflich- Representative for Assemblywoman Galef

Mary Mahon- Commissioner Westchester County Human Resource Department

John Ravitz- The Business Council of Westchester or Representative

The second discussion of proposed Local Law making it an unlawful discriminatory practice to request or seek wage history of a prospective employee.

Legislator Cunzio asked Ms. Hofflich about Galef sponsored bill (A6707) in NY. The bill failed to reach committee in the Senate last year but passed through the Assembly. Ms. Hofflich mentioned that it was the hard work of the coalition and advocates that launched a successful campaign that help pass the Bill through the Assembly. Legislator Cunzio also asked if any other counties besides Albany County in NY have this law. The answer was No.

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz mentioned that the Law Department added in the reverse pre-emption clause in the County Law. This clause would make the County Local Law null and void if the State law takes affect. The County Law would then reverse to a Resolution.

Legislator Testa asked who would enforce the law. Answer Human Rights Commission.

The legislators and guests discussed that the enforcer would not be consumer affairs. They also discussed fines. Legislator Borgia stated that most likely there will be violations at first. Education is important.

Legislator Cunzio asked Ravitz what the best mode of education. Mr. Ravitz stated he has yet to receive feedback from the business community. This is his first time looking at the proposed local law. His expressed concerns regarding how the Law will be enforced? Will Westchester County set limits on the fine as NYC has? Mr. Ravitz expresses concern regarding the non-for-profits, they need a clear understanding of what needs to be done when hiring and Human Resource Departments need to be educated.

Legislator Testa asked what if the topic of salary comes up in the course of an interview - not asking for the past salary - and the applicant doesn't get the job and feels it was discrimination. Legislator Borgia stated it is not unlawful if the applicant brings it up.

Legislator Cunzio asked Ms. Hofflich about teachers' salaries, which are posted online, in the State bill. Ms. Hofflich replied she didn't know, but that the employer should not seek the salary. Legislator Cunzio made the distinction that this law is for the private sector.

Mr. Cacace discussed the time necessary to educate businesses on the new local law and that the first violation be a pass/warning. He also mentioned that besides women, this law would also benefit people looking to start their second career due to retirement, downsizing etc... Mr. Cacace mentioned that sometimes for those job seekers their experience becomes an impediment.

Mr. Ravitz suggested a webinar as a form of educating business.

Commissioner Mahon said her primary concern is the compliance with civil service law. It is lawful to ask applicant if prior employment was part-time, full-time, etc. She reiterated what others said about education being necessary and they would need a lead time to set the new procedures in place.

Legislator Borgia stated she looks forward to speaking with members of the business council.

No action was taken.

RESULT:PENDING
Mar 19, 2018 10:01 AM  Legislation Committee Meeting

Guests:

Stacey Dolgin-Kmetz, Chief Deputy County Attorney

David Chen, Dept. of Law

Kevin Cacace, Executive Director, Yonkers Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Hofflich, Representative for Assemblywoman Galef’s Office

Mary Mahon, Commissioner, Westchester County Human Resource Department

John Ravitz, The Business Council Of Westchester

Leg. Shimsky opened the discussion about Item #10624

Leg. Cunzio asked Ms. Hofflich about Galef-sponsored bill (A6707) in NY. The bill failed to reach committee in the Senate last year but passed through the Assembly. Ms. Hofflich mentioned that it was the hard work of the coalition and advocates that launched a successful campaign that helped pass the bill through the Assembly. Leg. Cunzio also asked if any other counties besides Albany County in NY have this law. The answer was No.

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz mentioned that the Law Department added in the reverse pre-emption clause in the County Law. This clause would make the County Local Law null and void if the State law takes affect. The County Law would then revert to a Resolution.

Leg. Testa asked who would enforce the law. The answer was the Human Rights Commission.

The Committees discussed fines. Leg. Borgia stated that most likely there will be violations at first. Education is the most important.

Mr. Ravitz was asked what would be the best mode of education. Mr. Ravitz stated he has yet to receive feedback from the business community. This is his first time looking at the proposed local law. He expressed concerns regarding how the law will be enforced. He wanted to know if Westchester County would set limits on fines as NYC has done? Mr. Ravitz noted his concern regarding the non-for-profits. He stated that hey need a clear understanding of what needs to be done when hiring and Human Resource Departments need to be educated.

Leg. Testa asked what if the topic of salary comes up in the course of an interview and the applicant doesn't get the job and feels it was discrimination. Leg. Borgia stated it is not unlawful if the applicant brings it up.

Leg. Cunzio asked Ms. Hofflich about teachers' salaries, which are posted online. Ms. Hofflich replied she didn't know, but that the employer should not seek the salary. Leg. Cunzio then stated that this law is for the private sector.

Mr. Cacace discussed the time necessary to educate businesses on the new local law and that the first violation be a pass/warning. He also noted that besides women, this law would also benefit people looking to start their second career due to retirement, downsizing etc. Mr. Cacae stated that sometimes for those job seekers their experience becomes an impediment.

Mr. Ravitz suggested a webinar as a form of educating businesses.

Commissioner Mahon said her primary concern is the compliance with civil service law. It is lawful to ask applicant if prior employment was part-time, full-time, etc. She repeated what others said about education being necessary and they would need a lead time to set the new procedures in place.

Leg. Borgia stated she looks forward to speaking with members of the business council.

RESULT:PENDING
Mar 19, 2018 10:02 AM  Labor & Housing Committee Meeting

Guests:

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department

Kevin Cacace- Executive Director, Yonkers Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Hofflich- Representative for Assemblywoman Galef

Mary Mahon- Commissioner Westchester County Human Resource Department

John Ravitz- The Business Council of Westchester

The second discussion of proposed Local Law making it an unlawful discriminatory practice to request or seek wage history of a prospective employee.

Legislator Cunzio asked Ms. Hofflich about Galef-sponsored bill (A6707) in NY. The bill failed to reach committee in the Senate last year but passed through the Assembly. Ms. Hofflich mentioned that it was the hard work of the coalition and advocates that launched a successful campaign that help pass the Bill throught he Assembly. Legislator Cunzio also asked if any other counties besides Albany County in NY have this law. The answer was No.

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz mentioned that the Law Department added in the reverse pre-emption clause in the County Law. This clause would make the County Local Law null and void if the State law takes affect. The County Law would then reverse to a Resolution.

Legislator Testa asked who would enforce the law. Answer Human Rights Commission.

The legislators and guests discussed that the enforcer would not be consumer affairs. They also discussed fines. Legislator Borgia stated that most likely there will be violations at first. Education is important.

Legislator Cunzio asked Ravitz what the best mode of education. Mr. Ravitz stated he has yet to receive feedback from the business community. This is his first time looking at the proposed local law. His expressed concerns regarding how the Law will be enforced? Will Westchester County set limits on the fine as NYC has? Mr. Ravitz expresses concern regarding the non-for-profits, they need a clear understanding of what needs to be done when hiring and Human Resource Departments need to be educated.

Legislator Testa asked what if the topic of salary comes up in the course of an interview - not asking for the past salary - and the applicant doesn't get the job and feels it was discrimination. Legislator Borgia stated it is not unlawful if the applicant brings it up.

Legislator Cunzio asked Ms. Hofflich about teachers' salaries, which are posted online, in the State bill. Ms. Hofflich replied she didn't know, but that the employer should not seek the salary. Legislator Cunzio made the distinction that this law is for the private sector.

Mr. Cacace discussed the time necessary to educate businesses on the new local law and that the first violation be a pass/warning. He also mentioned that besides women, this law would also benefit peole looking to start their second career due to retirement, downsizing etc... Mr. Cacae mentioned that sometimes for those job seekers their experience becomes an impediment.

Mr. Ravitz suggested a webinar as a form of educating business.

Commissioner Mahon said her primary concern is the compliance with civil service law. It is lawful to ask applicant if prior employment was part-time, full-time, etc. She reiterated what others said about education being necessary and they would need a lead time to set the new procedures in place.

Legislator Borgia stated she looks forward to speaking with members of the business council.

No action was taken.

RESULT:PENDING
Mar 26, 2018 10:00 AM Video Budget & Appropriations Committee Meeting

Joint with Legislation and Labor & Housing.

Guests:

Deputy County Attorney Stacey Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department.

This item was held over until the next meeting pending the Public Hearing scheduled for Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7:30 PM.

RESULT:POSTPONED
Mar 26, 2018 10:01 AM  Labor & Housing Committee Meeting

Guests:

Deputy County Attorney Dolgin-Kmetz and David Chen from the Law Department.

The item was held over to the next meeting pending the Public Hearing scheduled for Monday, March 26, 2018 at 7:30 PM.

RESULT:POSTPONED
Mar 26, 2018 10:02 AM  Legislation Committee Meeting

Chair Perez opened this meeting to discuss the proposed local law.

Leg. Borgia noted that the Public Hearing was scheduled to be held at the Board's meeting tonight. She noted that we should give people a chance to be heard. Chair Boykin stated that they had spoken to the Business Council and that they were not that concerned, but he felt that the committees should hear from them.

Leg. Parker said the New York City had passed a wage history discrimination law last year. The Law department did not have any problems with the legislation.

The Committees decided to vote on it on April 9, 2018.

To view this discussion please go to: http://westchestercountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=4898&Format=Minutes

RESULT:PENDING
Apr 9, 2018 10:00 AM  Legislation Committee Meeting

This item was thoroughly discussed at previous joint meetings with the Committees on Labor & Housing and Budget & Appropriations.

With a motion by Legislator Covill and seconded by Legislator Shimsky, the item was approved with a vote of 6 - 0.

RESULT:SIGNED BY COMMITTEE
Apr 9, 2018 10:00 AM Video Budget & Appropriations Committee Meeting

Joint with Legislation and Labor & Housing.

This item was thoroughly discussed at previous joint meetings with the Committees on Labor & Housing and Legislation. With a motion by Legislator Parker and seconded by Legislator Barr the item was approved with a vote of 7-0.

Apr 9, 2018 10:01 AM  Labor & Housing Committee Meeting

This item was thoroughly discussed at previous joint meetings of the Committees on Legislation and Budget & Appropriations. With a motion by Legislator Parker and seconded by Legislator Cunzio the item was approved with a vote of 6-0 (Johnson remote).

RESULT:SIGNED BY COMMITTEE
Apr 9, 2018 7:00 PM Video Board of Legislators Regular Meeting

Submitted by COMMITTEES ON BUDGET & APPROPRIATIONS, LABOR & HOUSING AND LEGISLATION.

On motion of Ms. Parker, seconded by Mr. Testa, this item was advanced on the Consent Agenda and voted on first.

Ms. Borgia, Mr. Maher and Ms. Perez presented the report and the Local Law and moved that the report be received, filed and approved and the Local Law adopted, which motion was carried by the following vote.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
AYES:Catherine Parker, John G. Testa, Nancy Barr, Catherine Borgia, Gordon A. Burrows, Kitley Covill, Margaret A Cunzio, Christopher Johnson, Michael Kaplowitz, Damon Maher, Virginia Perez, MaryJane Shimsky, David J. Tubiolo, Alfreda Williams, Lyndon Williams, Benjamin Boykin