Governor's Office of Employee Relations

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About Executive Order 161

Executive Order 161: Ensuring Pay Equity by State Employers

On January 11, 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed Executive Order 161, entitled Ensuring Pay Equity by State Employers. See,

Executive Order No. 161 will ensure pay equity for applicants for employment by prohibiting state entities from asking for the salary history of prospective employees. This precludes the State from requesting the salary, wages, benefits and other forms of payment an applicant for employment might have received from a former employer. As companies 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 State career from the very beginning of that career.

In order to promote consideration of applicants based on their unique aptitudes and qualifications, no State entity can ask or mandate, in any form, that an applicant 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 needed. However, such information will not be used to set an applicant's salary. If a state entity is already in possession of an applicant's prior compensation, the information will not be relied upon in determining the prospective employees salary unless required by law or collective bargaining agreement. This will ensure that State salaries are established based on the duties and responsibilities of a position rather than continuing past occurrences of disparate compensation levels.

The Governor's Office of Employee Relations has the responsibility to monitor and oversee compliance with Executive Order No. 161.


Updated: June 29, 2017