There’s a new NYC law that eliminates your least favorite interview question — and Wall Street isn’t happy

Published 7:52 am, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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Don’t tell Wall Street executives how to pay their people.

At least that’s what the two chairmen of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit membership organization made up of top business leaders in New York City, told the mayor’s representatives, The New York Times reports.

The two men — Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group, and Michael Corbat, the CEO of Citigroup — are among a growing chorus of Wall Street executives complaining to Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor who oversees housing and economic development, about a new law that will change the way Wall Street firms negotiate compensation packages.


Their biggest concern?

That the recently passed New York City law, which bars public and private employers from asking job candidates about their current or previous salary, will make recruiting and paying top talent more challenging, according to The Times.

Letitia James, New York’s public advocate, who introduced the legislation, begs to differ. She argues that discussing previous salary information increases wage discrimination.

“Being underpaid once should not condemn one to a lifetime of inequity,” James said in a press release when the bill was passed in April. “We will never close the wage gap unless we continue to enact proactive policies that promote economic justice and equity.”

The stakes are high for Wall Street firms — in 2016, employee compensation contributed nearly $24 billion to New York’s economy, according to The Times.

One argument The Times mentioned opposing the new law contended that the law may actually decrease pay for men and fail to increase pay for women, which would negatively affect New York City’s tax revenue.

But Glen says she expects the law to have a positive impact. She told The Times:

“We have to break the cycle of pay discrimination. Every firm is grappling with how to retain and promote more women into their senior leadership — this is part of the solution. Having spent more than a decade on Wall Street, I fundamentally believe this industry will be stronger when women up and down the ladder are compensated fairly.”

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