New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed two executive orders on Monday to help close the wage gap between men and women in the workplace.

The executive orders will strengthen equal pay protections in New York by prohibiting all state agencies and departments, along with public benefit corporations, boards and commissions, from evaluating candidates based on their prior salary or asking prospective employees their wage history.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo [Image credit: Bloomberg]
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

[Image credit: Bloomberg]

New York also will require state contractors to disclose data on the gender, race and ethnicity of employees.

See also: Financial gap between women, men narrowing

The gender wage gap has only improved by 8% in the last 20 years, according to a report from employee benefit cloud technology provider Visier.

Women in New York, however, earn 87 cents on the dollar — 4.5 cents higher than the national average — in comparison to what men in the state earn.

For women of color, the gap is much steeper.

See also: Women miss promotions for maternity leave: study

African-American women earn about 69 cents on the dollar and Latinas earn 58 cents on the dollar, according to the state.

Over a lifetime, the wage gap will cost women $1.3 million in pay, according to Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women.

The executive orders are part of Gov. Cuomo’s “New York Promise” agenda, which looks to overhaul the criminal justice system, expand opportunities to immigrants and eliminate the wage gap.

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