Women have been devastated by the economic turmoil fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the lowest women’s labor force participation rate since 1988. Millions of women have left the workforce since its onset, due partly to our society’s ongoing and outsized reliance on women as caretakers and the closure of child care centers and partly to the types of industries most affected by the pandemic. As women begin to return to the workforce, salary-setting practices that rely on applicants’ prior wages, rather than on the skills that any given position requires, will only reinforce the disproportional harm that women have already suffered from the pandemic.
A.6529-A is an important step toward remedying gender-based pay disparities. It would require all private employers in New York to disclose compensation or compensation ranges upon issuing employment opportunities, and upon request by current employees. The bill would also prohibit employers from retaliating against workers who make such information requests.