Executive orders from governor will limit how state employers in St. Lawrence County can evaluate prospective hires
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 5:37 pm

Two executive orders passed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will limit how state entities operating in St. Lawrence County can evaluate prospective hires.

Executive Order No. 161 prohibits state entities from asking the salary history of prospective employees. Cuomo says that because companies tend to base salary offers on a candidate’s prior salary history, this measure will “break the cycle of unfair compensation so that individuals, primarily women and minorities, are not disadvantaged throughout the course of their entire career.”

According to the executive order a candidate for employment at any state entity does not have to provide his or her current compensation, or any prior compensation history, until he or she is extended a conditional offer of employment with compensation.

“Once a conditional offer has been extended, a state entity may then request and verify compensation information. If a state entity is already in possession of an applicant’s prior compensation, the information may not be relied upon in determining the prospective employees salary, unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement,” the order states.

The Governor’s Office of Employee Relations will monitor and oversee this process and train relevant human resources staff from state entities on the requirements of the new measure.

A second order from the governor requires all state contractors to disclose data on the gender, race, ethnicity, job title, and salary of all its employees in all state contracts, agreements, and procurements issued and executed on or after June 1.

Contracts and procurements issued on or after that date must include a provision identifying this additional requirement.

Additionally, subcontractors must also provide the same information for their employees.

This information will be reported to state agencies and authorities on a quarterly basis for prime contracts having a value in excess of $25,000, except for prime construction contracts having a value in excess of $100,000, which shall be reported on a monthly basis.

Cuomo says this will "leverage taxpayer dollars to drive transparency and progress toward wage equity."