Governor Cuomo signed a bill in late October – effective January 19, 2016 – that prohibits wage discrimination in the workplace. Labor Law section 194(1) provides that when a man and woman work in the same setting and under similar conditions and they perform work that requires the same skill, effort, and responsibility, an employer may not pay them a different wage.
The law accounts for such things as seniority and merit and where compensation is based on output, such as the quantity or quality of production. Moreover, it remains completely appropriate and lawful to tie compensation to education, experience, and training; as a result, it often can continue to occur that a more highly-educated woman, for example, would receive a higher wage than her male counterpart. The opposite holds true as well :: a more highly skilled and trained man justifiably receives a higher compensation than a woman who works the same job but is not as highly trained. It will be interesting to see how this new law impacts businesses across New York State.