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We are the authoritative force in Employment & Labor Law, providing diverse legal services in both a traditional and online, web-based environment, whether be it for small businesses or large-scale businesses on a panel or a case-by-case basis. Hitherto, serving as primary counsel or cumis counsel, we are not only taking over the industry when it comes to Employment Defense and Employment Practices, but also in Intellectual Property Defense (Trademark, Copyright, and Proprietary Information), Management Side Defense, Regulatory and Compliance, Business Law & Corporate Law, and Professional Liability, among others. Whether serving directly or on behalf of a third party (EPLI, D&O, E&O), we stay unusually motivated® to take on all your needs!

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In this regard, this blog is titled “Discrimination & Retaliation under the New York Equal Pay Act” and is Part III of our new series, “Key Employment Law Issues for Businesses & Companies in New York.” In Part II, we dwelt on what New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) says about employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and mentioned that just as the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) covers employers within the state, the NYCHRL covers employers within New York City and, thus, employers within the city must remain compliant with the law. We also added that the statute prohibits discrimination against employees, including unpaid interns, based on color, sexual orientation, sex, race, age, status as a victim of domestic violence, marital status, familial status, disability, creed, or national origin, citizenship or alienage status, uniformed service, reproductive and sexual health decisions, caregiver status, and partnership status.

To move this discussion forward, we will look into what the New York Equal Pay Act says about discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against employees in New York and how employers can remain compliant with the statute.

Discrimination & Retaliation under the New York Equal Pay Act

Through this statute, employers in New York are prohibited from paying an employee a lower pay rate on the basis of their status within one or more protected categories. Just as it is under both the NYSHRL and NYCHRL, the New York Equal Pay Act protects various categories and classes of employees, including color, sexual orientation, sex, race, domestic violence victim status, age, status as a victim of domestic violence, marital status, familial status, disability, creed, or national origin, predisposing genetic attributes, military status, and gender expression or identity.

However, as codified under N.Y. Lab. Law § 194(1), those factors considered appropriate in determining differential pay include experience, seniority, and or merit. In addition, pursuant to N.Y. Lab. Law § 194(4), employers may establish the manner in which, the place where and the time when employees can engage in discussions regarding wages amongst each other, but cannot prevent such discussions.

In Part IV of this series and our blog titled “Whistleblowing under the New York Labor Law,” we will shift gears to hammer on what the New York Labor Law says about whistleblowing and whistleblower protections for employees in New York and how employers can remain compliant with the statute.

As usual, stay tuned for more legal guidance, training, and education.

In the interim, if there are any questions or comments, please let us know at the Contact Us page!

Always rising above the bar,

Isaac T.,

Legal Writer & Author.